THE DUCK POND — The Madison Mallards have announced the signing of three more college players for the 2004 season. Northwoods League veteran Chad Frk, University of Hawaii?s Ricky Bauer, and Fort Hayes State?s Jeff Bieker all will suit up with the Mallards this season.
Frk, a junior at the University of Illinois, will be spending his fourth summer in the Northwoods League. Frk has played for the Waterloo Bucks the past three seasons, including a league championship in 2002 while playing for current Mallards coach, and the leagues career leader in wins, Darrell Handelsman. This season Frk should eclipse the league record of 186 total games played. At Illinois this season, Frk has team highs in batting average (.413), hits (26), runs (14), and slugging percentage (.540). He also has hit one home run and knocked in 12 RBI?s.
Another player who will join Frk in the field this year is Fort Hays State sophomore Jeff Bieker. Last year’s Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year has already crushed 15 home runs on the season and has knocked in 51 runs. The outfielder leads the team in virtually every statistical category hitting .450, scoring 39 runs, and a slugging percentage of .991. Bieker will also see action from the mound this summer, as he also has 3 saves this season.
One of the pitchers who will benefit from the additions of Frk and Bieker is University of Hawaii junior Ricky Bauer. Bauer, who pitched in the Cape Cod League last summer, is 5-2 this season with a 3.10 ERA and 39 strikeouts.
The latest additions bring the Mallards to fifteen players signed for the 2004 season. So far the Mallards have inked ten returnees from the 2003 season.
The Mallards 2004 home opener is June 9th at 7:05 P.M. against the Mankato MoonDogs. The Madison Mallards set a Summer Collegiate Baseball record averaging 4,421 fans per game for a season total of 145,896 fans in 2003.