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Published On: June 27th, 2013

By: Ryan Hill — Public Relations

Madison, WI — June 27, 2013. Mallards outfielders Tate Matheny and Joe McCarthy have recently found themselves on quite the list.

Matheny, a native of Chesterfield, Missouri, and McCarthy, an Exton, Pennsylvania native, have recently been named to Baseball America Freshman All-American teams.

McCarthy was a first-team selection after completing his first season with the Virginia Cavaliers while Matheny earned second-team honors after his first season with the Missouri State Bears.

McCarthy found himself hitting in the middle of the lineup for a Cavaliers team that was ranked as high as fifth this past year and reached the NCAA Super Regionals.

The similarities between their freshman seasons are almost scary. Both players hit exactly .336 with four home runs and both players won Freshman of the Year in their respective conferences.

But did they expect to be named to an All-American team?

“At first it shocked me,” McCarthy said. “But then you just look back at how hard me and my teammates have worked over the year.”

Matheny wasn’t necessarily thinking about that. He’s just glad he gets the chance to play alongside someone with as much ability as McCarthy.

“Joe and I were lucky enough to pull through and be able to do that,” Matheny said. “It’s a blast and it’s awesome to hang around somebody like him who has such an unbelievable amount of talent.”

Unsurprisingly, Joe and Tate’s freshmen seasons weren’t all fine and dandy. Matheny started out as the No. 9 hitter for the Bears while McCarthy remembered struggling mentally towards in the beginning of the season.

“I came into college really wide-eyed and looking around like I was one of the worst players in the locker room,” McCarthy recalled. “But you have to realize it’s college, it’s baseball. The game doesn’t change, it’s just a different level.”

Matheny added: “My manager didn’t just wanna toss me right in there as a freshman,” he said. “He gave me some time to work some kinks out, and I definitely had some kinks,” he said with a smile.

Adapting to the college level took some physical adjustments as well. Both players said the amount of consistency and command that collegiate pitchers possess struck them more than anything.

“I never saw a cutter, at least a good one before college,” Matheny said. “Next thing you know you see a fastball that moves four inches. And that’s the difference between a double off the wall and hitting a pop fly to second base…

“Or breaking your back,” McCarthy chimed in with a laugh.

Their freshman year success has quite obviously carried over into the Northwoods League with the Mallards. McCarthy is hitting .364 (8-for-22) with a home run and four RBIs, while Matheny is hitting .250 while smacking five home runs and knocking in 20 runs.

For both Matheny and McCarthy, they view playing for the Mallards in the Northwoods League as a sort of a prize.

“Everyday we just worked hard to make it happen,” Matheny said. “And this is our reward, both of mine and Joe’s.”