Austin completes another Mexican winter
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February 5, 2009 - Former RiverHawk Rich Austin recently wrapped up another successful winter season in Mexico, playing for a team with a familiar name.

The former Frontier League Player of the Year hit .386 with six home runs and 30 RBI for Gavilanes De Minatitlan. The team, whose name translates into "Hawks", plays in the Veracruz Winter League, one of a number of minor Mexican Winter Leagues.

Austin has spent much of the last couple of years out of the country. In addition to three winters in Mexico, he played for Tabasco of the Mexican League at the start of the 2007 season, nearly won the Italian triple crown last summer with Bologna of Serie A, Italy's top pro league, and finished 2008 in the independent Golden league playoffs with Calgary.

Austin signed with the then-Springfield Capitals in 2001 and stayed with the team its first three years in Rockford. Austin led the RiverHawks to the 2004 Frontier League pennant. Austin won the league batting crown, was voted Frontier League Player of the Year and named to Baseball America magazine's All-Independent League team.

Click here to see video of winter ball south of the border.


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