Madison, WI – April 1, 2013. The Madison Mallards have announced the signing of right-handed pitchers Tyler Ockuly of Minnesota State – Mankato and Nick Smith of Western Illinois.
Ockuly, a 5’10," 195-pound junior from Champlin Park, Minnesota, is 2-3 in 6 appearances and 5 starts for the Mavericks this spring. He has a 4.72 ERA and has recorded an incredible 38 strikeouts in 26.2 innings pitched.
He finished with a team-best 2.31 ERA for the Mavericks during his sophomore season in 2012, compiling a 7-3 record in 15 appearances, 14 of which were starts. His highlight of the year came against Regis at the 2012 NCAA DII Central Regional tournament, when he pitched all 10 innings and struck out 12 batters for the 1-0 win. He also pitched a complete game shutout against Delta State at the 2012 NCAA DII national championship tournament.
Ockuly attended Champlin Park High School in Champlin Park, Minnesota and was a four-year letter winner for the Rebels. He went 5-2 and had a 2.02 ERA during his senior season, good for an All-State selection and a slot in the Lion’s All-Star game. He also was named all-conference during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons, and was team MVP for his junior and senior years. Ockuly is majoring in law enforcement.
Smith, a 6’3," 175-pound sophomore from Greenfield, Indiana, has struggled early on for the Fighting Leathernecks this season. He has made 5 appearances, 4 of which were starts and is 1-3. He has 10 strikeouts in 16 innings pitched.
Smith made 14 appearances – 12 of them being starts – in his freshman campaign with the Leathernecks last season. He finished with a 3-6 record in 68.2 innings and had a 4.98 ERA. He struck out a career-best 13 batters against Southern Utah University over just seven innings on April 7.
Smith went to New Palestine High School in New Palestine, Indiana and was a two-year letter winner with the Dragons. He was selected to the Indiana Elite Senior All-Star team in 2011 after posting a 3.10 ERA with 61 strikeouts over 55.2 innings. In his two years of varsity experience, he went 12-2 and won a conference, sectional and regional championship for the 2010 squad. His major is still undecided.
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.