The college baseball season is drawing near and the future is bright for two former Madison Mallards stars. Shortstop Mike Rozema, and catcher Javier Sanchez are both receiving pre-season recognition for their baseball talents; Rozema as a pre-season All-American at St. Johns University, and Sanchez as a captain for the University of Notre Dame. Both players will not be returning to the Mallards for the 2004 season as they are both out of eligibility.
Rozema, who was recently named a third team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, catapults into his senior season after a banner junior season at St. Johns. Rozema, a mid-season Northwoods League All-Star, finished his summer campaign with the Mallards batting .300, with team highs in at-bats (219), hits (64), runs scored (42) and stolen bases (32). Rozema is one of only four Big East players to earn preseason All-American honors.
Former Mallards teammate Javier Sanchez, and 2003 Mallards team MVP, also has high expectations going into his senior season. The former Mallards catcher/utility man was recently named one of three team captains for the 2004 Fighting Irish baseball team. Sanchez is only the 15th catcher in the storied program?s history to be honored with the name of captain. Sanchez was one of Notre Dame’s top offensive players during the 2003 postseason, earning MVP honors at the Big East Tournament before being named to the NCAA Fullerton Regional all-tournament team. While in Madison, he represented the Mallards with pride as an All Star catcher for the NWL?s South division in the 2003 season. Sanchez finished his summer season batting .262 with 26 RBI?s and an on base percentage of .335.
The Mallards 2004 Home Opener will be Wednesday, June 9th against the Mankato MoonDogs at 7:05. Season tickets are on sale now at the Mallards office (608-246-4277) at the ?Duck Pond?, and individual game tickets go on sale May 1st.