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Feyereisen gets call from the Northwoods League

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Following a stellar freshman season at UW-Stevens Point and after posting a 7-1 record with the River Falls Fighting Fish, pitcher J.P. Feyereisen signed a 12-day contract last week to play for the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters of the prestigious Northwoods League.

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The Northwoods League is a collegiate summer baseball league comprising teams of the top college players from North America and beyond. All players in the league must have NCAA eligibility remaining in order to participate. Players are not paid in order to maintain their college eligibility.

Feyereisen is the first player ever from River Falls to play in the Northwoods League. His contract runs from Aug. 1-12. Through Sunday, Aug. 5, he had appeared in one game and pitched two innings, allowing four hits with two strikeouts and no walks.

Feyereisen completed his freshman season at UW-Stevens Point this past spring, appearing in 11 games and making six starts. He posted a record of 3-0 with an earned run average of 2.66, striking out 37 batters and walking 17 in 42.2 innings pitched.

Feyereisen was the winning pitcher for the Fighting Fish in the 2011 Wisconsin Baseball Association state championship game and appeared in 10 games with the Fish this season, compiling a record of 7-1 with a 1.54 earned run average.

A 2011 graduate of River Falls High School, Feyereisen was a four-time letterwinner and two-time All-Big Rivers Conference player with the Wildcats. He earned third team All-State honors as a senior and was a member of the 2011 American Legion Post 121 state championship team, when he was named MVP of the American Legion State Tournament.

The Northwoods League has more teams, draws more fans, and plays more games than any other summer collegiate baseball league in the country. Teams are run similar to a professional minor league team, providing players an opportunity to play under the same conditions, using wooden bats and minor league specification baseballs.

Since its inception in 1994, 91 Northwoods League alumni have made it to the major league level, including such notable players as Curtis Granderson of the new York Yankees, Andre Ethier of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Josh Willingham of the Minnesota Twins, Juan Pierre of the Philadelphia Phillies, Ben Zobrist of the Tampa Bay Rays and Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox. Over 170 players who played in the Northwoods League were drafted in the 2011 Major League Draft, and 30 former players were on Major League rosters on opening day of the 2012 season.

The league consists of 16 teams; seven in Wisconsin, six in Minnesota, one each in Iowa and Michigan and one in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters compete in the South Division, which also includes the Eau Claire Express, La Crosse Loggers, Madison Mallards, Green Bay Bullfrogs, Wisconsin (Wausau) Woodchucks, Lakeshore (Mequon) Chinooks, and Battle Creek (Mich.) Bombers.

The Rafters will host the Lakeshore Chinooks this weekend, Aug. 10-12, in a three-game series at Witter Field in Wisconsin Rapids.

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Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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