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Published On: January 14th, 2009

(Mankato, MN)—The Mankato MoonDogs Baseball Club, a member of the Northwoods League, is proud to announce Mike Orchard has been hired as field manager for the 2009 season. Orchard, currently the pitching coach and pitching recruiter at Central Arizona College, will become the fifth field manager in MoonDogs history.

The 30-year-old Bettendorf, Iowa native is no stranger to summer college baseball. His summers have included stops in the Northwoods League in Thunder Bay and La Crosse, the Arizona Summer Collegiate League, and a stint at Hyannis in the Cape Cod League.

"We are extremely excited to have such a well connected and hard working coach on board for next season,” MoonDogs General Manager Kyle Mrozek said. "Mike’s experience in several summer college baseball leagues and strong work ethic will be a great fit for the MoonDogs.”

Over the past eleven seasons, Orchard has put together an impressive coaching resume. His coaching career started immediately after college as he spent time coaching high school teams in Davenport, Iowa, Charleston, South Carolina and Kissimmee, Florida. In Florida, he developed back to back pitchers of the year in Osceola County.

Orchard accepted the position of pitching coach at Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Arizona in 2006. He spent two years with the Coyotes where under his tutelage, 10 of his pitchers moved on and pitched Division I baseball and 5 signed professional contracts. His staff also had the lowest ERA in the conference in 2007.

In 2008 Orchard spent the year working at the University of Southern California (USC) and the Rod Dedeaux Research and Baseball Institute (RDRBI).

"I am excited for the opportunity that the MoonDogs have given me. Mankato has shown itself to be a first-rate organization and there is not a better fit for me,” Orchard said from his office in Coolidge, AZ. "Hopefully, we can piggyback off the success of last season and then take the next step in winning the Northwoods League. "

MoonDogs season tickets are now on sale at the MoonDogs baseball office located at 310 Belle Avenue. For more information visit the MoonDogs website at or call the MoonDogs Office at 507-625-7047.