(Madison, WI) The Mallards have signed pitchers Matt Morgan (Purdue) and Nick Rice (NC State), a pair of juniors who played for last year’s team.
Matt Morgan, RHP, Junior, Purdue. The 5’11”, 170 pound Morgan returns for his second season with the Mallards. He looks to build upon his strong contributions to last year’s squad, including a 2-1 record, 1.83 ERA and 39 strikeouts in five starts and three relief appearances.
Morgan appeared in 13 games with Purdue last season. As a sophomore, he posted a 6-5 record with a 4.75 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 77.2 innings. Interestingly, Morgan showed he could pitch under pressure by winning five rubber games in tied Big Ten series during the 2009 season.
This spring, Morgan has a 3-2 record and 5.86 ERA for the Boilermakers. He also has 65 strikeouts in 63 innings pitched.
“Matt will tell you the same thing; he wants to finish what he started last summer, and is really looking forward to solidifying a starting role for this ballclub. The best attribute about him is that he’s going to compete during every pitch, and that’s all I’m looking for,” said Thieleke.
Nick Rice, LHP, Junior, NC State. The 6’4”, 209 pound left-hander from Kenosha, WI also returns for his second season with the Mallards. In 2009, Rice gave the Mallard’s pitching staff a boost as a late-season injury replacement by appearing in five games.
Before pitching for the Mallards last summer, Rice spent his freshman season at Southern Illinois and his sophomore season at Madison Area Technical College. He went 5-1 with a 1.79 ERA and 61 strikeouts with the Wolfpack of MATC.
This spring, Rice has a 9.26 ERA and seven strikeouts in 11.2 innings for NC State.
“In the short time Nick played for us last summer, he performed really well so he falls in the same boat as returnee Matt Morgan. He was always in our plans, being a local (Kenosha) kid, and will bring a fresh arm and great attitude to the ballpark every day. We’d definitely like to see him develop into a solid starter,” said Thieleke.
The Madison Mallards are members of the 16-team summer collegiate Northwoods League. Opening Day is slated for Wednesday, June 2, at 7:05 p.m. against the Wisconsin Woodchucks. Single-game and group tickets are now on sale and can be purchased online or by calling the box office at 608.246.4277.