Rafters’ Bobo prepared for double-booked All-Star Week

The Cal State Fullerton product leads the Northwoods League in home runs
Bobo awaits an at-bat in a game against Wausau on July 15.
Bobo awaits an at-bat in a game against Wausau on July 15.(WSAW)
Published: Jul. 17, 2022 at 9:18 PM CDT
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WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (WSAW) - When Brendan Bobo decided to make the trip from California to Wisconsin for the summer, he knew what he was getting into. He knew the Northwoods League was competitive, and he wanted a piece of the action.

“I just wanted to play against good competition,” said Bobo. “I feel like everyone in this league is a good competitor. They know how to bring it. Everyone’s about that mentality.”

Bobo, a Cal State Fullerton standout, has called Witter Field his home this summer, playing as a member of the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters. He has not been disappointed. Bobo is hitting .282 with 42 hits. His 37 RBI are second in the league, but the real sticking point is the power. Bobo has an OPS of .953 and leads the entire league in home runs with 11.

For Bobo, the pop off his bat is a result of sticking to the basics at the plate.

“I’m just seeing the ball well,” said Bobo. “Keep it simple up there. Not trying to do too much. Trying to pull the ball the other way. Just let the ball pull itself. Just not trying to do too much at the plate.”

Bobo is surrounded by talent in Wisconsin Rapids. The Rafters are a league-best 39-9 heading into the All-Star Break. Their 29 wins in the first half of the season were an all-time league record.

“It’s been fun. My team is surrounded by a bunch of great guys,” said Bobo. “We’re just having fun. Being ourselves, playing to our full ability. Going on that field, playing like it’s our last game.”

Several Rafters, including Bobo, have been rewarded for their play. Bobo, Ben Ross, Garrett Broussard, Jacob Igawa and Grant Manning will all represent the Rafters in the All-Star Game Tuesday night. Ross and Bobo will also both compete in the Home Run Challenge on Monday. The added benefit; the All-Star festivities are on their own home field in Wisconsin Rapids.

“Seeing the group of guys that were selected so getting to represent, especially at the home run derby should be special,” said Bobo. “Being an All-Star, getting to represent the hometown team, should be cool.”

Bobo says he doesn’t have any experience in any home run derby competition. However, he’s excited to give it a whirl, all in front of the hometown fans.

“I’m just trying to keep it simple, just trying to stay within myself, trust my abilities and just try to put on a show I guess,” said Bobo.

With only a few weeks left in the season, Bobo will soon venture back home to the west coast. However, he won’t soon forget his experience in Wisconsin Rapids, something he’s thankful to have been a part of.

“This is a great experience overall. You get to meet a bunch of different guys,” said Bobo. “I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’m definitely glad I got to experience something like this because it’s special.”

The 2022 Northwoods League Home Run Challenge is Monday night at Witter Field in Wisconsin Rapids, while the All-Star Game is Tuesday night. Both events begin at 7:00 p.m.

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