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MoonDogs’ Coaching Staff is Complete

NORTHWOODS LEAGUE ANNOUNCES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: April 17, 2009

MoonDogs’ Coaching Staff is Complete

(MANKATO, MN) The Mankato MoonDogs Baseball Club announced the signing of three assistant coaches for the 2009 season. Kurt Elbin of Thiel College (Greenville, PA), Jason Belk of St. Ambrose University (Davenport, IA), and Ryan Ruiz of Central Arizona College (Coolidge, AZ) will be joining new field manager Mike Orchard on the MoonDogs bench. 

Elbin is a 2006 graduate of Lock Haven University of PA, where he was a team captain, and three year starter at second base. Off the diamond, he made the dean’s list five times, and recently completed his master’s degree in sport management from California University of PA. Last summer he was the head coach of the Tradewater Pirates of the Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee Collegiate League, where he led the team to a league-best 37-17 record. As an assistant at Thiel College this season, he has helped guide the Tomcats to a 17-8 record overall, and a 9-4 record in President’s Athletic Conference play (NCAA Division III). He will serve as the bench coach for the MoonDogs this season. 

Belk is a 2008 graduate of the University of Iowa, and a former pitcher for the MoonDogs during the 2006 season. He had a 1-1 record in 20 appearances with a 2.33 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 38.2 innings pitched in Mankato. Jason spent last summer as the lead assistant for Kurt Elbin with the Tradewater Pirates. He will be the pitching coach for the MoonDogs this season. 

Ruiz is a 1999 graduate of Texas Tech University where he was twice named Second Team All Big XII Conference. He played eight years of professional baseball, four with the St. Paul Saints, and four with the Sioux City Explorers, retiring with a career .288 batting average. Ryan is in his second full-year as an assistant coach at Central Arizona, serving on the same staff as manager Mike Orchard. His responsibilities include working as the hitting coach, working with the outfielders, and guiding the team’s strength and conditioning program. He will serve as the hitting coach for the MoonDogs this summer. 

“I’m extremely excited to have these three hard working, high energy coaches on my staff,” said Orchard. “They really fit the profile of what I was looking for, they have tremendous work ethics, and I really think that together we can do something special with this team.”