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Premium Players from Power Conferences Increase Rafters Expectations for 2020

March 26, 2020 - Northwoods League (Northwoods) - Wisconsin Rapids Rafters News Release

Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. - Today, the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters continue to announce talented additions to the 2020 Roster, with LSU outfielder Wes Toups and Penn State outfielder Cole Bartels.

Thibodaux, Louisiana native Wes Toups is the third LSU Tiger expected to crash Witter Field this summer. In his first taste of college baseball, Toups was 2-9 with two doubles and three walks over seven games. At E.D. White Catholic High School, Toups played varsity baseball from eighth grade onward. During his time at E.D White, the Commanders were 142-31, winning five district titles in a row. Toups was a major player in the Commanders dynasty, posting a .428 batting average with nine home runs, 93 RBIs, and 91 stolen bases in his high school career.

Out of high school, Toups was ranked as the No. 129 player in the nation by Prep Baseball Report and gathered an All-State selection for the third consecutive year. Last summer, Toups played for the Danville Dans of the Prospect League and was the only high school player among the 12 teams in the league.

Rafters head coach Craig Noto speaks highly of Toups: "Wes will give us a huge injection of premium speed from the left side, as well as high end defense in centerfield. Coach Mainieri at LSU always send us quality young men who are well coached. From a managerial standpoint it's settling to know that you're bringing in players who can hit the ground running."

Cole Bartels is a two-way talent homegrown in Belmont, Massachusetts. The Penn State redshirt-junior is coming to the Rafters as an outfielder for the 2020 season. In the abbreviated 2020 college baseball season, Bartels took to the field for the first time as a college player and succeeded, hitting .316 with seven walks and two doubles in seven games played. As a pitcher, Bartels appeared in 24 games in 2017 and 2019, striking out 27 batters and allowing only two home runs.

At Belmont High School, Bartels was a two-time team captain. Bartels wrapped up his career with over 250 strikeouts on the mound, a school-record 107 hits, and an All-State selection.

The Rafters Home Opener is slated for 6:05pm on Wednesday, May 27th against the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders. For more information on the different ticket packages visit Raftersbaseball.com or call the Rafthouse at 715-424-5400. Due to the current statewide shutdown the front office at Witter Field is closed to the public indefinitely.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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