For the City Times
The Northwoods League announced the 2016 Postseason All-Star Team and award winners on Sunday, August 14. Mankato outfielder Jake Shepski was named the league’s Most Valuable Player and Lakeshore’s Marshall Kasowski was named Pitcher of the Year as voted by the League’s coaches and members of the media. Augie Rodriguez from St. Cloud was named the Manager of the Year and John Halama from Wisconsin Rapids won the Coach of the Year Award.
Mankato MoonDogs outfielder Jake Shepski (Notre Dame) won the MVP award by being among the league leaders for offense in the Northwoods League. Shepski, a sophomore, was also a mid-season All-Star as well as a selection for the Major League Dreams Showcase. Shepski is currently fourth in the league in batting average (.339), fifth in home runs (11), and sixth in RBI (54). Shepski is a native of Lockport, Illinois.
Lakeshore Chinooks right-handed pitcher Marshall Kasowski (Houston) was named the Northwoods League Pitcher of the Year. Kasowski, a junior, appeared in 12 games and went 3-1 with the third lowest ERA in the league at 1.56. He also struck out a league high 87 batters in 63.1 innings. Kasowski hails from Conroe, Texas.
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, winners of both the first and second halves in the South Division, had three members selected to the NWL’s Postseason All-Star Team. RHP’s Garrett Schilling (Xavier) and Chris Cooper (Texas A&M- Corpus Christi) garned accolades along with infielder Jake Lumley (Canisius). Schilling finished the regular season as the Northwoods League leader in saves with 18, a 1.90 ERA, and 40 strikeouts. Cooper tallied a 4-2 record in 10 starts, while finishing with a 2.02 ERA and 38 strikeouts. Lumley has been a consistent presence in the Rafters lineup during the 2016 season, hitting .309 with 11 doubles, 4 home runs, and driving in 34 runs.
Wisconsin Woodchuck’s outfielder Steele Walker (Oklahoma) was also selected for the team and is currently hitting .411 for the season.
Shepski, Kasowski and Walker are among the 31 players selected to the NWL’s Postseason All-Star team.
The Kalamazoo Growlers and the La Crosse Loggers lead all teams with four selections each.
St. Cloud’s fifth-year manager Augie Rodriguez is the 2016 Manager of the Year after leading the St. Cloud Rox to a post-season berth with a current record of 47-23.
John Halama earned the award for 2016 Coach of the Year in the Northwoods League. The former Major League pitcher has guided the Wisconsin Rapids pitching staff now for two seasons. The Rafters currently have the best pitching staff in the league.
Pete Knutson of the Eau Claire Express and Cooper Perkins of the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters were recognized by their peers as Co-Play-by-Play Announcers of the Year.