Pair of Maverick freshmen riding into ‘The Swamp’

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – As the SwampDogs continue to bolster their 2015 roster, they are pleased to announce the signing of two players from Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colo.  The Mavericks are the third-ranked team in NCAA Division II baseball.

Freshman outfielder Bligh Madris and freshman right-handed pitcher Nick Cardinale will be joining the ‘Dogs in their quest to capture the 2015 Petitt Cup.

Madris, who hits left-handed and throws right-handed, hit over .400 in all three of his varsity seasons playing baseball at Foothill High School.  He received All-State honors twice, All-Region honors three times, was the Sunrise Region MVP, and was a two-time recipient of the Offensive Player of the Year Award.

The Las Vegas, Nev. native also played football for Foothill, and is majoring in Criminal Justice.

“Bligh is a talented young hitter who we hope will give us some consistent offense throughout the summer,” said SwampDogs Manager Zach Brown.

Madris has a double, three RBIs and leads the team with two stolen bases in five games played for the Mavericks.

Cardinale was high school teammates with Madris at Foothill, also garnering All-State honors as a hard-throwing pitcher.  In six starts as a senior, Cardinale had a 2.59 ERA and struck out 38 batters in 27.0 innings pitched.  Opponents hit just .170 against him.

He also received a nine rating on Perfect Game, meaning they saw him as a future top-10 round pick.  Cardinale, who hails from Henderson, Nev., features a low-90s fastball combined with a tough slider.

“Nick is a very special arm with good velocity that the fans in Fayetteville should be excited to come out ant watch,” Brown said of Cardinale.

Cardinale sports a 1.29 ERA in 7.0 innings spread across two appearances including one start.  He has fanned six batters and opponents are hitting a measly .087 against him.

The Colorado Mesa Mavericks are the preseason favorites to win the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in 2015.  In the 2014 season, they advanced to the finals of the NCAA Division II World Series in Cary, N.C., losing in heartbreaking fashion 3-2 in 12 innings to Southern Illinois.

The Fayetteville SwampDogs are in their 15th season playing in the Coastal Plain League.  The SwampDogs are one of the most successful franchises in the league’s history, making the Petitt Cup Playoffs seven times in the past nine seasons, reaching the championship round three times. The SwampDogs boast 84 alumni taken in the draft and have produced seven players who have gone on to play in Major League Baseball.  The SwampDogs open their season on Tuesday, May 26th with a 7:05 pm tilt with the Morehead City Marlins at J.P. Riddle Stadium.  To reserve your seats for the 2015 Summer of Fun or for more information, call the SwampDogs offices at 910-426-5900.

The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 19th season in 2015, the CPL features 15 teams playing in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL gives college players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts. The CPL has had over 1,200 alumni drafted and 75 of those – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut; while another notable alum – Russell Wilson – won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at and follow us via Twitter @CPLBaseball.

Joe Vasile/Fayetteville SwampDogs