(Press Release) - Recognized for their outstanding performance and individual contributions to their ballclub, three Wisconsin Woodchucks — Carlos Escobar, Tom Briner and Ryan Iverson — were selected to the 2011 Northwoods League All-Star Game. They join Skyler Debilzen of the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, the host team for the All-Star Game.
Carlos Escobar, a sophomore catcher from the University of Nevada- Reno, has — when qualifying in plate appearances — virtually led the Northwoods League in batting average and doubles, while showing impressive defensive skill, athleticism, and versatility.
Escobar is currently hitting .374 with 14 doubles, 15 RBI and 10 walks through 26 games played.
Tom Briner, a junior right-handed pitcher from the University of California, Davis, arrived relatively late, but made his presence be felt immediately on a Woodchucks' team in dire need for an ace on the mound.
Through four starts on the season, Briner — whose ERA sits at 0.78 — is 3—0 through 23 innings of work, allowing only five walks, two extra base hits and only two earned runs — while striking out 26.
Ryan Iverson, a second-year Woodchuck and junior closer from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point, has been a stabilizing force and an extremely effective reliever out of a bullpen that struggled in the first half of South Division play.
Leading Woodchucks pitchers in wins (4) and appearances (11), Iverson has worked 27.1 strong innings, allowing only eight earned runs, five walks, and four extra base hits, while striking out 28 — good for a 2.63 ERA.
An Oregon, WI native, Debilzen began the season on a temporary contract but quickly established himself as a valuable member of the Rafters bullpen. With a vacant roster spot available near the end of June, the Rafters were able to sign Debilzen to a full contract, allowing him to remain with the team through the remainder of the season.
Debilzen has been a model of consistency for the Rafters, throwing multiple innings out of the bullpen and getting key outs in critical situations during the first half of the season. After allowing runs in his first two appearances of the year, Debilzen put together a string of 14 scoreless outings spanning 20.2 innings, setting a new Rafters franchise record. Debilzen's college teammate, Mitch Running (UW-La Crosse), held the previous scoreless streak of 15.2 innings, which he compiled last season.
Heading into Sunday's game against the Madison Mallards, Debilzen was tied for the team lead with 17 appearances and was third on the team with a stingy 1.33 ERA. In 27.0 innings on the mound he has allowed only 21 hits and 4 earned runs, while striking out 21 batters. Opponents are batting just .216 against him this season.
This marks the second year in a row that the Rafters will send a member of a WIAC program to the All-Star Game. Last season, Plover native Cody Koback (UW-Stevens Point) represented the Rafters at the game hosted at Carson Park in Eau Claire, WI.
"Skyler's work ethic and willingness to do whatever the team needs is what defines him as an All-Star," commented Rafters general manager Liz Kern. "We are very excited for Skyler."
Taking place on Monday, July 18 at Witter Field, the three Woodchucks' participants will travel to Wisconsin Rapids with their South Division brethren to take on the North Division's squad.
The Northwoods League All-Star Game is set to take place on Monday, July 18th at Historic Witter Field in Wisconsin Rapids.
Courtesy: Rafters & Woodchucks Press Releases
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