Rafters Hope To Continue Home Success, Sweep Bombers
Cooper pitches for the first time since All-Star Game
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – Still energized by Tuesday night’s come-from-behind, walk-off victory, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (35-18, 11-6) return to action on Wednesday night to round out their two-game series with the Battle Creek Bombers (26-27, 8-9). The Rafters, who have won four consecutive meetings with the Bombers, now sit alone atop the Northwoods League South Division second-half standings in addition to the South Division overall standings.
Taking the ball for the Rafters will be All-Star Game starter Chris Cooper (Texas A&M Corpus Christi), who is on track to start for the eighth time this season. In 42 innings of labor, Cooper has dominated the competition this summer, demonstrated by his unblemished 4-0 record and his razor-sharp 0.86 ERA. For most of the season, Cooper has been the Northwoods League leader in ERA, but due to a required innings minimum, Cooper currently does not qualify as a contender for the ERA title—an honor never won by a Rafters pitcher. Cooper will look to return to the form that he boasted before the All-Star Game that was embodied in his 24 1/3 innings scoreless streak from June 9 to July 7. In his most recent start for the Rafters, Cooper pitched six innings against the Battle Creek Bombers and held the Michigan-based club to two runs (one earned) on three hits and a season-high four walks, while striking out three. In his seven starts, Cooper has notched at least six innings five times and has not allowed more than two runs in any regular-season outing.
Pitching for the Bombers will be foreign-born right-hander Chi-Ping Wu, who is expected to pitch for just the seventh time overall, earning his fifth starting nod. Wu, in 13 2/3 innings this season, has posted a 7.24 ERA and 11 strikeouts compared to 14 walks in route to absorbing two losses without a victory. A native of Taiwan, Wu will look to earn his first win of the season. Wu’s most recent action came in the form of a perfect inning of relief on July 22 against the Kenosha Kingfish, marking his only scoreless appearance of the season.
First pitch at Witter Field is scheduled for 7:05 PM with gates opening to the general public at 6:05 PM.
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 23rd season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 150 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.raftersbaseball.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store and set the Rafters as your favorite team.