For the Rapids City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The Rafters have announced the remaining players who will fill out the roster. The group is highlighted by returning athletes from 2017 — Josh Aguilar, who played his sophomore season with Pasadena City College and Mitch Mallek, junior with the St. Cloud State Huskies. Newcomer Jake Cook from Birmingham Southern will also join the Rafters pitching staff on a full contract.
Josh Aguilar returns to the Rafters after spending the 2018 spring season with the Pasadena City College Lancers. Aguilar made six appearances this spring with five of those being starts. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound righty went 2-1 in 33 innings while striking out 30. With Wisconsin Rapids in 2017, the West Covina, CA native sported a 2-2 record in seven appearances with four starts and a save while fanning 24 in 34 total innings.
RHP Jake Cook wrapped up a strong junior season with Birmingham Southern. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound pitcher posted a 7-3 record with a 2.56 ERA. The Oxford, AL native struck out 49 in 66.2 innings across 12 appearances, including 10 starts and one complete game. Cook has a career ERA of 2.73 in three seasons with the BSC Panthers. The righty was named to the D3Baseball.com All-South Region Team and awarded Southern Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year for 2018.
Teammate of Bret Fehr and Mason McReaken, LHP Ryan Byrd started nine games as a junior this spring for SIU-Edwardsville. The native of Spokane, Washington struck out 40 in 57.2 innings for the Cougars.
RHP Bobby Dorta pulled double duty for Millersville this spring due to injuries on the team. The redshirt sophomore made 18 appearances out of the bullpen and pitched to a 1-2 record to go with a 3.86 ERA, two saves and 28 strikeouts. The Palmyra, PA native batted in 23 games including 18 starts as the DH. Dorta batted .266 with 17 hits, 13 RBIs, five runs scored and a home run.
Fellow Millersville Marauder, RHP Daniel Ross pitched to the tune of a 3.72 ERA as well as nine strikeouts in 19.1 innings across 10 appearances and two starts in 2018.
C Jake Dunham ended his sophomore campaign with Northern Illinois with a .268 batting average, tied for second on the team in RBIs (26) and finished third on the Huskies in on-base percentage (.367).
IF Ian Fair ended his regular season with a .331 average, 49 hits and 25 runs batted in. Fair is playing his first full season with the Northeastern Huskies as a redshirt freshman. The Walpole, MA native suffered a broken tibia and fibula during a playoff soccer game his junior year at Walpole High. But that did not stop Fair from signing his National Letter of Intent to play baseball for Northeastern just five days later.
OF Mitch Mallek returns to play for his hometown team after playing 20 games in a Rafters uniform last season. Mallek batted .223 with 13 hits and seven runs scored in 2017 for Wisconsin Rapids. Mallek ended his senior year with St. Cloud State with a .383 batting average, 67 hits, 11 doubles, five home runs and 32 RBIs.
RHP Cole Waites is fresh from an impressive sophomore campaign for the West Alabama Tigers. Waites, a native of Lawrenceville, GA, tossed 66 innings and a complete game while striking out 97 batters in 11 starts.
The 2018 Wisconsin Rapids Rafters will begin their season on the road against the Madison Mallards on May 29. The Home Opener is slated for June 1 against the Wisconsin Woodchucks. The entire 2018 Rafters schedule is available at www.raftersbaseball.com.