The Top Three Moments of the 2021 Rafters’ Season
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters finished with a winning record for the fifth time in the last six seasons at 38-34.
Here’s the top three moments of a memorable summer-
1. Rafters Throw Historic No-Hitter as Part of Torrid August
On August 8th two three-year Rafters’ Nathan Hemmerling (Lakeland) and Brayden Bonner (Dixie State) combined to throw a seven inning no-hitter against the Battle Creek Bombers. The two three year Rafters pitched the first combined no-hitter in team history. The no-hitter was part of one of the best months in eleven years of Rafters’ baseball. Wisconsin Rapids finished as the hottest team in the Northwoods League winning 11 of their last 13 games with just two losses in all of August. The Rafters pitching staff was brilliant as well all season finishing with a 3.59 ERA- the second best mark in the Northwoods League.
2. McKinley Erves walks-off Woodchucks, Named NWL All-Star
McKinley Erves (LaGrange) was a temporary player in early June when he walked off the Wisconsin Woodchucks. The Rafters scored two runs in the ninth with Erves scoring the walk-off on a passed ball. Erves then became one of the Rafters players of the year being named a Northwoods League All-Star. He had two double digit hit streaks. His .341 BA in 61 games ranked 10th of all Northwoods League players. And Erves had numerous game-winning hits and spectacular leaping catches in the outfield.
3. Rafters Stun First Place Fond du Lac, Win Season Series Over Dock Spiders
The Rafters were the thorn in the side of playoff bound Fond du Lac this season with a 7-5 record. Wisconsin Rapids was the only team in the Northwoods League with a winning record versus the Dock Spiders. This was best represented by an incredible 12 inning 7-6 win for the Rafters in Fond du Lac, part of five road wins over the Dock Spiders. In the 12 inning game in late June Rafters’ pitchers stranded Fondi’s game winning run at third base in three consecutive innings.
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 27th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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, over 250 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB Gold Glove finalist and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. 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 or on Google Play and set the Rafters as your favorite team