RiverHawks sign former college Player of Year
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February 2, 2009 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – The Rockford RiverHawks announced Monday that they have signed a former college National Player of the Year.

Outfielder/first baseman Casey Smith, a former San Diego farmhand, has agreed to a contract. The Padres drafted Smith out of Erskine College in the ninth round in 2005, the same year he was voted the Division II National Player of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

Smith spent two years in the San Diego organization and played briefly in the Frontier League two years ago with the Southern Illinois Miners. He has a .212 career average, seven home runs and 35 RBI in three professional seasons. He did not play in 2008. Smith, who turns 25 on Feb. 24, has 1-Year status in the Frontier League.

Smith, who was drafted and signed following his junior year at Erskine College, hit .448 with 18 home runs and 83 RBI in his final college season. He was also selected as a first-team Division II All-American, Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference Player of the Year and the conference’s Male Athlete of the Year.

Smith and RiverHawks corner infielder Robbie Knapp were roommates at Erskine and each is a member of the CVAC All-Time Baseball Team.

RiverHawks director of baseball operations Dave Ciarrachi said Smith has gotten back into playing shape working with Knapp at an Atlanta-based baseball academy.

“He’s a pretty dedicated kid,” Ciarrachi said.

The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 17th season this summer. The RiverHawks will begin their eighth season at 7:05 p.m. May 21 at Windy City and play their home opener at 7:05 p.m. May 26 against the Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti. The RiverHawks host the 2009 Frontier League All-Star Game at 7:05 p.m. on July 15. Advertising and season-ticket information is available by calling (815) 885-2255. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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