Wisconsin Rapids, WI (PRESS RELEASE)– March 23rd, 2010. The Rafters added a familiar name to many in the area today when they announced the signing of infielder Justin Jirschele (UW-Stevens Point). The club has also signed UNLV freshman catcher Craig Shul to a 2010 contract.
Justin Jirschele, 5'11", 190 lbs (L/R) So.
Jirschele, a sophomore infielder, enters his first season with UW-Stevens point after spending his freshman campaign at UW-Oshkosh. He joins a strong Pointers squad that was ranked No. 18 nationally in D3baseball.com's preseason poll and has been chosen as the pre-season favorite to win the WIAC conference championship. Two games into the young season, Jirschele is batting .250 (2 for 8) with 2 RBI's and one run scored. In his first game of the season, Jirschele went 2 for 5 while occupying the second spot in the batting order and helped the team secure a 13-5 victory over St. Olaf College (MN).
Last season, as a freshman, Jirschele started in all 40 games for UW-Oshkosh while batting .280, with 9 doubles, 27 RBI and a .359 on-base percentage. His 42 hits on the season tied him for third most on the team.
A native of Clintonville, WI, Justin's family ties to the Northwoods League and the game of baseball are very strong. His brother Jeremy played for the Wisconsin Woodchucks in 2004, while earning MVP honors, and was selected as Baseball America's Silver Glove Award winner as a second-baseman that year. He was drafted in 2005 by the Kansas City Royals and played in their farm system until 2008. Justin's father is about to enter his 11th season as the manager of the Kansas City Royals Triple A affiliate, the Omaha Royals.
Craig Shul, 6'1", 205 lbs (R/R) Fr.
Shul enters his freshman year at UNLV, having recently completed an impressive high school career at Albuquerque Academy in New Mexico. A three-time letter winner, he helped lead his high school team to a 30-3 record and a state championship in 2009.
Noted as an exceptional defensive player, Shul was named first team all-state, first team all-metro, and first team all-district as a catcher. His batting averages during his high school career were notable as he hit .411 as a senior, .430 as a junior, and .450 as a sophomore.
Shul is originally from Albuquerque, NM and is majoring in biological sciences at UNLV.
Ticket Packages and Group Tickets are on sale now! For more information call (715) 424-5400 or visit www.raftersbaseball.com. The Rafters will play a 70 game schedule with 35 home games in 2010. Opening Day at Witter Field is scheduled for Sunday, June 6 at 6:05pm vs the Eau Claire Express.