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Published On: April 21st, 2004

The Mankato MoonDogs Baseball Club, a member of the Northwoods League, is proud to announce the signing of freshman pitcher Justin Garcia, from the University of New Orleans.

Garcia, (5’11”, 165 lbs) originally from Violet, LA, is hard throwing right hander for the UNO Privateers and head coach, former Minnesota Twins Star, Randy Bush.

Garcia is the second Privateer to join the MoonDogs in 2004 with his teammate, freshman outfielder Tony Gonzalez, signing earlier this spring.

As a freshman, Garcia has seen most of his action out of the bullpen as a reliever, making 14 appearances, the second most on the team. "The only thing stopping Justin from being a starter is the depth of our staff right now,” Coach Bush said. "He’s a very good competitor and a bulldog on the mound.”

Bush referred to the depth of their staff, which has two Northwoods League standout pitchers in Thomas Diamond and J. P. Martinez in his rotation. Both Diamond and Martinez pitched for the St. Cloud River Bats last season, and both are projected in Baseball America as Top 100 college players in the 2004 Amateur Draft, with Diamond listed in the Top 10 overall picks.

"Justin really turned some heads when he came into that program and is getting some great experience from veteran leaders in Diamond and Martinez,” said MoonDogs head coach Brad Rupert, followed by "he will be the anchor of the staff in the years to come.”

With the signing of Garcia, the MoonDogs now have 17 players signed for the 2004 season. With opening day just 48 days away, look for more news from the MoonDogs front office every week.

The 2004 MoonDogs poster schedule is now available and single game tickets go on sale May 1. Season tickets and group tickets are on sale now, call 507-625-7047 today to reserve your seat for all 32 MoonDogs home games in 2004. You can also find the MoonDogs online at for any of your baseball needs.