Madison, WI – March 4, 2013. The Madison Mallards have announced the signing of right-handed pitcher Nick Hibbing from the University of Iowa and southpaw Kevin Duchene from the University of Illinois for the 2013 season.
Hibbing, a 6’6", 185 pound sophomore is a native of Lindenhurst, Illinois and was drafted out of Lakes Community High School in 2011 in the 42nd round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. So far, in 2013 Hibbing has come out of the bullpen twice and has four strikeouts in three innings pitched. He has not allowed an earned run. He saw action in 14 games for the Hawkeyes in 2012, 13 of which came in relief. He ranked second on the team in saves and struck out 13 batters in 21.2 innings of work. Right-handed batters managed to hit only .170 against him.
Hibbing pitched for the Quincy Gems of the Prospect League in the summer of 2012. He went 2-2 with a 3.62 ERA and struck out 24 batters in 27.1 innings pitched. He appeared in six games, including five starts.
While at Lakes Community High School, Hibbing averaged two strikeouts per inning pitched and owns the career ERA record (1.09). He was ranked as the 16th best player in the state of Illinois by Perfect Game USA as a senior, and was a Perfect Game Pre-Season All-American his junior and senior seasons. His major is undeclared at Iowa.
Duchene, a 6’1" lefty will debut with the Mallards after wrapping up his first season with the Fighting Illini this spring. He is 2-0 with a 4.34 ERA so far in 2013. He has started all three games he has appeared in. In his last start against Houston Baptist, he pitched 8.2 innings and did not allow an earned run in a 8-3 win.
Duchene attended Joliet Catholic High School in Joliet, Illinois. His senior year he allowed just one earned run, had 96 strikeouts, gave up only 10 walks and surrendered just 22 hits. His 8-0 record and 0.13 ERA earned him the 2012 Herald-News Baseball Player of the Year. Prep Baseball Report had Duchene ranked as the number six overall prospect in the class of 2012 in Illinois. In 2011, as a junior Duchene was 8-1 with a 2.56 ERA and had 71 strikeouts in just 52 innings pitched. Following the season he was named to the All-East Suburban Catholic Conference team. He finished his high school career with a 15-4 record. Duchene is a general studies major at Illinois.
The Mallards will host their season opener against the Eau Claire Express on May 29th at 7:05 pm at the "Duck Pond." Single-game tickets will go on sale April 27th.
The Madison Mallards are part of the 16-team Northwoods League. The Northwoods League has more teams, plays more games, and draws more fans than any other Summer Collegiate Baseball League in North America. In 2013, the Northwoods League will celebrate its 20th season.