The Mankato MoonDogs announced that Field Manager Mike Orchard (Central Arizona) will return to the MoonDogs for his fourth season in the summer of 2012. Orchard has been a mainstay at the helm of the MoonDogs for the last three seasons after stops in the Arizona Collegiate League, the Cape Cod League and two stops in the Northwoods League as an assistant coach.
Orchard has seen plenty of success with the MoonDogs; making the playoffs in two of his three seasons. He is also the only manager in MoonDogs history to take the team to the Summer Collegiate World Series, which he did in 2011. Also, Orchard has earned the honor of coaching the North Division in the Northwoods League All-Star games in both 2009 and 2011, claiming a 6-3 victory in Wisconsin Rapids in 2011.
“We’re excited to have the winningest manager in MoonDogs history back in the saddle for the 2012 season. Mike has not only proven himself on the field, but also does a lot of hard work in the off season to make each year successful,” said MoonDogs General Manager Kyle Mrozek.
Under Orchard in 2011 the MoonDogs recorded a single season franchise record 42 wins. With 110 career wins, Orchard officially has the most wins in MoonDogs history, a mark formerly held by Jason Nell (06-08). In addition, Orchard has seen 63 MoonDogs get selected in the Major League Baseball Draft in the past 3 seasons.
After the most successful on field season in MoonDogs history Orchard is excited to be back with the team and see what lies ahead in 2012.
“We had a great season in 2011 but every year is a different story and a new journey," Orchard said. "2012 is going to be a new chapter with new players as the city of Mankato and the MoonDogs continue to grow and keep moving forward and I’m excited to put 2011 in the rearview mirror and see what the future holds.”