Four Mallards make Northwoods League Mid-Season All-Star Team

Madison, WI – July 13, 2009. The Northwoods League 2009 Mid-Season All-Star Team was announced Monday and the Madison Mallards will have four players, Kurtis Muller, Harold Riggins, Cody Winiarski, and Mark Ginther, representing the organization during the game to be played Tuesday, July 21 at 5:05 p.m. in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Mallards 2009 NWL Mid-Season All-Stars include: (in alphabetical order)

Mark Ginther, IF, Fr., Oklahoma State. Ginther is tied for fourth place in the league in home runs (5) and is currently hitting .254 with 7 doubles and 8 RBI through 36 games. Although he made the team as an infielder, Mark has also appeared in five games on the mound, posting an 0-1 record and 3.63 ERA over 17.1 innings. He was recently voted the team’s “most promising future for a positional player” in a player vote.  This past spring for the Cowboys, Ginther hit .303 with 7 doubles, 5 home runs, and 19 RBI over 37 games. He is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma where he led Jenks High School to back-to-back state football championships as a quarterback his junior and senior seasons.

Credit: Jim Addis

Kurtis Muller, OF, So., Iowa. The Sun Prairie, Wisc. product was recently voted as being the team’s “real leader” and hasn’t disapointed in his first year with the Mallards in hitting .302 with 7 doubles, 3 home runs, and 15 RBI through 42 games. Muller has also stolen 14 bases in 18 attempts. The former member of the Mallards cleaning crew is hitting an eye-popping .388 on the road thus far. Since starting shortstop Joe De Pinto’s (USC) injury that forced Manager CJ Thieleke to shuffle the lineup, the versatile Muller has seen more time in the infield recently, starting at second base 10 games.

Credit: Jim Addis

Harold Riggins, IF, Fr., NC State. Easily the team’s most popular player amongst Mallards fans, Riggins leads the league in RBI (40) and slugging percentage (.597), and a third-best .340 batting average through the first 44 games. He broke the Mallards single-season home run record this past Saturday in dramatic fashion with his eighth long ball of the season, a grand slam to help defeat the Alexandria Beetles 7-4. Riggins loves hitting at the “Duck Pond” as he has accumulated a .440 average with 7 home runs and 30 RBI at home. This past spring for the Wolfpack, he hit .284 with 2 home runs and 16 RBI through 32 games.

Credit: Jim Addis

Cody Winiarski, RHP, So., MATC.
Voted as being the team’s “most promising future for a pitcher” by his teammates, Winiarski has been consistent as any pitcher in the league, in posting a 4-2 record with a 1.66 ERA in 48.2 innings over 7 starts. He hasn’t allowed a run since June 24 and opposing batters are hitting only .211 against the right-handed Union Grove, Wisc. native. This past spring for Wolfpack, Winiarski went 6-2 with a 2.40 ERA over 56.1 innings, including 8 starts.

Credit: Jim Addis

Mallards Field Manager CJ Thieleke has also been invited to help coach the South Division All-Stars alongside Eau Claire’s Manager Dale Varsho, who will head the team after winning the NWL First-Half Championship earlier.

*Former Mallard catcher Ben Long (UW-Milwaukee) who played in Madison earlier this summer on two 10-day contracts, also made the All-Star Team after hitting .364 with 3 home runs and 12 RBI during his stay. He is now a member of the Wisconsin Woodchucks and has two home runs and 5 RBI through 15 games with his new club.

Complete rosters for the North & South Division All-Star Teams can be found by clicking here.

The Mallards hit the road for a two-game trip to La Crosse beginning Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. at Copeland Park after enjoying a rare off-day Monday. The team then returns to the “Duck Pond” for four games starting Thursday. Click here to read about this weekend’s promotions and pick out the date you’d like to help cheer on the team as they vie for a spot in the NWL playoffs by winning the second half championship.

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