Rafters hold Northwoods League’s best record down the stretch
By Jacob Heid
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — With the All-Star Game in the rearview mirror, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are entering the final stretch of the regular season. Starting on July 21, the Rafters will play 24 games in 26 days to wrap up the regular season.
With a record of 39-9, Wisconsin Rapids holds the most wins in the Northwoods League by five games. The closest team to them is the St. Cloud Rox, with a record of 34-11. On Thursday, Rapids will travel to Fond Du Lac to take on the Dock Spiders for two games. They will then play in a home-and-home series with the Madison Mallards next weekend, July 23-24. After that. The Rafters will go on a four-game road trip to face the Lakeshore Chinooks and the Wausau Woodchucks. To wrap up July, the team will play two home games versus the Chinooks and play another home-and-home against the Green Bay Rockers on July 30-31. Brendan Bobo talked about the mindset as they head into the last month of the season.
“We’re just going to continue to do what we’ve been doing, and that’s just play the game of baseball at the best of our ability,” Bobo explained.
He also touched on how the team will look different after the break.
“We lost a big part of our team, Ben Ross, obviously. Going in the fifth round, congrats to him.”
If you haven’t heard, Ross left the Northwoods League after the home run challenge because the Minnesota Twins selected the 21-year-old in the fifth round of the 2022 MLB Draft. Ross hit a league-leading .421 average and had 72 hits, 10 home runs, and 39 RBIs in 48 games with the Rafters this season.
He is a big loss for the team, but the Rafters still have plenty of firepower to keep the momentum rolling.
The Northwoods League playoffs will happen on Aug. 14-18. The playoffs will have a best-of-three first round and a one-game divisional round before the championship game.