Madison, WI – February 4, 2009. Charlotte sophomore right-handed pitcher Andrew Smith has signed with the Mallards, giving the team an all-important proven arm that should be one of the main pieces in Field Manager C.J. Thieleke’s starting rotation. As a freshman for the 49ers last year the 6’3” Matthews, NC native was 4-2 in 18 appearances over 53.1 innings that included seven starts. He also saw time in the Cal Ripken Baseball League playing for the Bethesda Big train last summer. There he was even more impressive, posting a perfect 5-0 record and 3.38 ERA in 32 innings. Smith follows a rather impressive list of former Charlotte pitchers who excelled in the Northwoods League, including Erik Walker (2005), Adam Mills (2005-06), Spencer Steedley (2006), and current teammates Joe Yermal (2008-09) and Bryan Hamilton (2008-09).
Thieleke explains the unique relationship between the Madison club and Charlotte pitching coach Brandon Hall.
“Coach Hall certainly deserves a lot credit for the Mallards success the past five seasons because he has a good feel for his pitching staff and knows which arms will get the most out of their experience in throwing in Madison each summer,” said Thieleke.
“Andrew joins a long list of talented Charlotte pitchers and according to reports from former Mallards and current teammates Aaron Bray and Rob Lyerly, he was their best pitcher in the fall, so we’re very excited about that.”
Smith is excited to carry on the rich tradition of 49er pitchers having success in the Northwoods League.
“I hold myself to a high standard so I have no problem with the expectations that have been put on me,” said Smith.
“I’m here to pitch as well as I can and help the Mallards win their second Northwoods League championship. That’s the bottom line.”