Now just four weeks away from the start of the 2015 Summer of Fun, the Fayetteville SwampDogs continue to add to their roster, bringing back two key players from the 2014 club.
First baseman David Palenzuela from Miami Dade College and right-handed pitcher Alex Mateo from Nova Southeastern University will be joining forces once again at “The Swamp.”
Palenzuela, a Miami, Fla. native, was a rock for the SwampDogs last season, batting .284 with a .393 on-base percentage and two home runs. One of those homers was on June 10th, giving the SwampDogs a dramatic walk-off victory over the rival Wilmington Sharks.
In his sophomore campaign at Miami Dade, the slick-fielding Palenzuela is hitting .304, with an on-base percentage over .400, and two triples.
The Miami Dade Sharks are 25-22 overall with a 14-14 record in the Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference. The Sharks play in the NJCAA Division I.
Mateo, also a Miami, Fla. native, came to the SwampDogs late in the 2014 season, and provided the
starting rotation a much-needed shot in the arm. In 14 innings, opponents hit just .143 against Mateo, and his 1.97 ERA was second-best on the team.
The talented righty has kicked up his performance another notch in his junior season with Nova Southeastern. He has pitched to the tune of an 8-1 record in 12 starts, striking out 80 batters while walking only 16 in 70 1/3 innings pitched.
The Nova Southeastern Sharks are 36-10 overall with a 16-5 record in Sunshine State Conference play. They are ranked number five in two NCAA Division II polls.
Palenzuela and Mateo played baseball together at Monsignor Pace High School before attending their respective schools.
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 eight times in the past 10 seasons, reaching the championship round three times. The SwampDogs boast 84 alumni taken in the draft and have produced six 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 76 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 www.coastalplain.com and follow us via Twitter @CPLBaseball.