May 16, 2007 - Former RiverHawk Rich Austin is back in the independent Northern League. Fargo-Moorhead announced Tuesday that the 2004 Frontier League Player of the Year had re-signed, following a brief stint in Mexico.
Austin was released last month by the Tabasco Olmecs of the Mexican League. The league, affiliated with Major League Baseball, has Class AAA status.
Austin started off a red-hot 6-for-15 in his first four games, but Tabasco moved quickly after a 1-for-15 mini-slump. Austin batted a composite .233 with one RBI in eight games.
Austin spent 2002-04 with Rockford. In his final year, he was voted league Player of the Year as he led the RiverHawks to the pennant. In addition, he was named to Baseball America magazine's Indpendent League All Star team. He has spent each of the last two summers with Fargo-Moorhead of the independent Northern League.