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Cooking with Baker

(Mankato, MN)—The Mankato MoonDogs Baseball Club, a member of the Northwoods League, is proud to announce the signing of junior infielder Brad Baker, of the University of Northern Colorado.

Baker, a 6’2”, 195 lbs infielder from Pueblo, Colo., signed with UNC after a successful high school career at Pueblo South High School, where he was a member of a state championship team and a three-year letter winner.

In his freshman season, Baker hit .372, and saw action in 41 games, starting in 40 of them. More importantly, Baker started the final 14 games the season; a streak that has yet to cease. On April 11, 2004 Baker started in his 106th consecutive game for the Bears

In his Cal Ripken-like run, Baker is a career .350 hitter, and has broke into the top 10 UNC records category in both hits and triples. He needs just four more triples to break the 13-year old record.

This year, Bakers .403 average is second on the team and third overall in the Division I Independent Baseball. With his help, the Bears rank first in team scoring (7.5/game) and team batting average (.331) while having three of the top five hitters in the league.

"Brad is a great five-hole hitter who brings a ton of experience and can play all over,” said UNC head coach Kevin Smallcomb. "He’s a lot of fun off the field but when the game starts he is real focused. He’s a very intense individual,” Smallcomb added.

On April 6, Baker was named as the Division I Independent Co-Player of the Week for his five runs, two doubles, triple, .833 slugging percentage and .500 on-base percentage, while defensively not committing an error in 23 chances.

"It’s great to know we have a guy like Brad who can play every day, and play well. We have a grueling schedule playing 64 games in 69 days and its tough both physically and mentally, but I think Brad is well prepared for it,” said MoonDogs head coach Brad Rupert.

The Bears open up a 4-game home stand this weekend, April 23, against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. At home, the Bears are 27-4 over the last two years.

2004 MoonDogs single game tickets go on sale Saturday, May 1. Stop by the MoonDogs ticket office or call 507-625-7047 to get yours. Be sure to check out www.mankatomoondogs.com for any of your MoonDogs needs, as opening day is just 42 short days away.