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Aviators Re- Acquire OF Matt Mann for 2005

December 3, 2004 - Central Baseball League (Central League) - Coastal Bend Aviators News Release

The Coastal Bend Aviators announced this afternoon that they have acquired the rights to the 2003 Central Baseball League’s Rookie of the Year - Matt Mann for the 2005 campaign along with RHP Shawn Morgan and INF Ben Tinius from the Amarillo Dillas, whom will not be operating in 2005.

Mann, split time last year between the Coastal Bend Aviators and the Amarillo Dillas and between the two teams he compiled another great year in 2004 with (98) hits, a .277 batting average, combined with a .326 on-base percentage in 354 plate appearances. He scored 54 runs and stole 13 bases in 17 attempts. He clubbed 21 doubles, seven home runs and recorded 37 RBIs.

“Matt has proved he is one of the elite players in the Central Baseball League over the last two seasons and will be a great addition to our club in 2005, comments new manager Murray Wilson. Matt was the final piece to our puzzle last season as we made our run at the playoffs as he is the type of player that gives you 110% from the time he puts his uniform on until the final out and I am extremely excited to have him back with me in Coastal Bend for the 2005 season.”

Aviators General Manager Shane Tritz stated “It will be great to see Matt back in an Aviators uniform in 2005, as he is truly a first class individual that can flat out play the game. He became an instant fan favorite during his tenure with the club and this makes for a perfect holiday gift for all Aviator fans .”

A graduate of the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, Mann played a full-season for the independent Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks of the Northern League in 2002. He hit .282 in 262 at bats for the RedHawks in 2002 with one home run. In 2003, with the Coastal Bend Aviators he was named the Rookie of the Year in the Central Baseball League after hitting .307 while driving in 53 runs and collecting (117) hits which ranked him 5th in the Central Baseball League.

Morgan, led the Amarillo Dillas last season with (8) saves and played a huge role for the Dillas down the stretch out of the bullpen for new manager Murray Wilson, the Aviators are looking for big things out of Shawn in 2005. “Shawn has great velocity and movement on his fastball that has been clocked in the 90-95 mph range and I know Shawn is a guy that will play a dominant out of the bullpen for us in 2005.” stated Wilson.

Tinius, showed a great set of hands as an infielder in his first professional season of baseball in 2004 with the Amarillo Dillas. “Ben is a great young player with good size at 6’3” and has some of the best hands I have seen in a long time and with a little work on his approach at the plate, he has the potential to do some big things in Coastal Bend in 2005.” stated Wilson.

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