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Published On: August 19th, 2016


Trip to Eau Claire offers chance to clinch NWL Championship

Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – With just one win separating them from the first Northwoods League Championship in franchise history, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (52-23, 3-0) will travel to Carson Park on Friday night for game two of the Summer Collegiate World Series against the Eau Claire Express (47-28, 2-1). Riding the emotion of Thursday night’s breathtaking ending, the Rafters hope to clinch the league’s sixth consecutive Summer Collegiate World Series sweep.

Receiving the starting assignment for the Rafters will be left-hander Jake Repavich (Grand Canyon), who makes his first start of the postseason after an outstanding regular-season showing. In 10 appearances, including nine starts, Repavich notched a 2-3 record, while posting a 2.38 ERA in 56 2/3 innings on the mound. Repavich, a pitcher that works effectively to contact, has struck out 26 batters and walked 17, while allowing 57 base hits. With the Rafters traveling to Eau Claire, Repavich is a natural choice to start thanks to his prolonged experience pitching in road environments this summer. In his nine starts, eight have come away from Witter Field with only his most recent outing against the Kalamazoo Growlers on August 12 coming in front of the Cranberry Crazies. A native of Arizona, Repavich will face the Express, a team that has enjoyed success against left-handed pitching, for the first time this summer. In his most recent outing, Repavich turned in a dominant showing against the Kalamazoo Growlers last week, pitching 5 1/3 scoreless innings in which he allowed just one base hit and one walk, while striking out a pair.

Repavich’s opponent Friday will be right-hander Ryan Zimmerman, who is familiar to the Rafters. In three starts and seven total appearances, Zimmerman compiled a 2-0 record and maintained a 2.45 ERA across 33 innings on the mound in which he notched 29 strikeouts compared to 15 walks. Zimmerman, who is originally from Minnesota, squared off against the Rafters on August 1 in the first game of a day-night double header at Witter Field and was masterful. In head-to-head action, Zimmerman fired seven scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and one walk, while striking out two en route to earning the victory. At the time, the 4-0 defeat was the Rafters’ only shutout loss of the campaign and remains one of only two instances in which the South Division Champions have been unable to push across a run. The right-hander last pitched on August 13 against the Duluth Huskies at Carson Park. In the outing, Zimmerman did not factor into the decision after working 5 2/3 innings in which he surrendered three runs (all earned) on four hits and a season-high four walks, while punching out four hitters.

Fist pitch at Carson Park is scheduled for 6:35 PM with coverage on WFHR 1320 AM beginning 15 minutes prior at 6:20 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 or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store and set the Rafters as your favorite team.