Madison, WI – April 17, 2012. the Mallards have announced the signing of junior right-handed pitcher Mark Sappington from Rockhurst University and junior catcher Galen Smith from the University of West Georgia.
Sappington, a 6’4″, 220 pound pitcher from Peculiar, Missouri will join the Mallards after his third season with the Hawks. So far in 2012, Sappington has a 6-2 record, 1.86 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 58 innings pitched. His sophomore season he finished 6-4 with a 3.51 ERA. He pitched 81.2 inning and finished with two complete game shutouts. His freshman year he compiled a 4-4 record with a 5.63 ERA.
“Mark is a stong, durable right-hander that has had a lot of success both for his college team and playing in the Prospect League,” said Mallards Manager Greg Labbe. “I know a lot of people talk about the number of power arms that have been in the league the past few years, and Mark definitely falls into that category. He has shown in the past to be able to go deep into games and maintain velocity in the low 90’s. He should compete for the number one spot in the rotation.”
Sappington played for the Hannibal Cavemen of the Prospect League in the summers of 2010 and 2011. In two seasons he had a 10-4 record and 3.02 ERA and was named to the Prospect League All-Star Game each season.
Sappington attended Raymore-Peculiar High School where he was a four year letter winner. He was named First-Team All-Conference and All-District in 2009 and Second-Team All-Conference in 2008. He was named the MVP of the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Game. He is majoring in business administration at Rockhurst.
Smith, a 6’1″, 205 pound catcher from Valdosta, Georgia will join the Mallards after his first season with the Wolves. So far in 2012, he is batting .381 with 21 RBIs. He has played in 35 games including 34 starts. He also has a .995 fielder percentage. He spent 2011 at Cleveland State Community College in Cleveland, Tennessee. He hit .291 with three home runs and 27 RBIs. In 2010 he was at Valdosta State University where he played in 18 games and started seven. He finished with a .267 batting average and did not make an error behind the plate.
“I don’t think that there is a position more important to the success of any team at any level than their catcher,” said Labbe. “Having a guy behind the plate that has caught a lot of games in college was important when putting the roster together and Galen was exactly what I was looking for. he is a very physical guy that can catch multiple days in a row and still contribute offensively.”
Smith attended Valdosta High School where as a junior in 2008 he hit .333 with 12 RBIs and had an on-base percentage of .458. He was a First-Team All-Region selection.
The Mallards will host their season opener against the Battle Creek Bombers on May 30th at 7:05 pm at the “Duck Pond.” 7-Game Packs, season, and group tickets are on sale now! Single-game tickets go on sale April 28th.
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.