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Tri-State Talent Headed to Rapids

May 21, 2019 - Northwoods League (Northwoods) - Wisconsin Rapids Rafters News Release

Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. - The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters signed two players each from New York and New Jersey for the summer of 2019. Outfielder Peter Matt from Penn and pitcher Neil Abbatiello from Wagner, along with infielder Chris Brito and outfielder Richie Schiekofer from Rutgers will join the Rafters for their 10th anniversary season.

Matt started all 41 games for Penn this season, breaking the program record for single-season at-bats. The 6-1 junior from Larchmont, New York hit .328 with 35 RBIs for the Quakers. Additionally, his six triples tied Penn's single-season record.

As a sophomore in 2018, Matt earned Second-Team All-Ivy League after hitting .308 and driving in 17 runs. Matt was the New York Section 1 Player of the Year and first-team All-State and All-Conference selection as a high school senior in 2016.

"I have heard great things about the Rafters as well as the Northwoods League as a whole," Matt said. "I am really excited to play a bunch of games against some really good competition as well as playing with kids from all over the country. It is going to be a great experience."

Abbatiello, a native of North Salem, New York, finished the regular season with a 4.88 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 75 innings of work for Wagner. The senior left-hander was named the Northeast Conference Pitcher of the Week in April.

Last season, Abbatiello earned First-Team All-NEC honors and was placed on the 2018 All-NEC Tournament Team as a sophomore. That year, he went 8-0 with a 3.30 ERA and 79 strikeouts for the Seahawks.

Brito started 43 games as a freshman for Rutgers, batting .242 and notching 17 RBIs. The 6-2 righty also drew 25 walks in his first collegiate season. Originally from Perth Amboy, New Jersey, Brito became a three-time all-conference, all-division, and all-section honoree out of high school.

"I am very excited to play with the Wisconsin Rapid rafters," Brito said. "I can't wait to get out there and compete with my teammates and bring the championship back to the Rafters."

Schiekofer transferred to Rutgers from Maryland and did not appear in any games during the 2019 season. As a freshman at Maryland in 2018, Brito started 12 games and posted a .326 on-base percentage. A native of Millburn, New Jersey, Brito was named All-Metro, First-Team All-State, and All-County as a high school athlete.

Want to attend a Rafters game next season? Rafters 9-Game Ticket Packages are on sale now! For more information on all Rafters ticket offerings visit, call the Rafthouse at 715-424-5400, or come visit us over at historic Witter Field. The Rafthouse is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday at Witter Field, 521 Lincoln Street in Wisconsin Rapids.

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