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SIOUX CITY, IA - In the midst of the arctic temperatures, the Sioux City Explorers are thinking warm weather and baseball! Today, the X’s have announced their first signing of the 2013 season. The 2012 X’s closer, Chris Bodishbaugh, will be back in an Explorers uniform for the 21st season of Explorers baseball! The 2013 season marks Bodishbaugh’s second season with the X’s.


During the 2012 season, Bodishbaugh was a steady presence on the mound for the X’s in the late innings. Appearing in 39 games, he posted a 6-4 record with 17 saves, striking out 55 batters while carrying a 4.13 earned run average, all in 52 1/3 innings pitched. The right hander is now 4th in Explorers history with 17 saves in a single season. Bodishbaugh had a hot July, where he recorded a decision in 12 of the 14 games he pitched, posting a 6-1 record with 6 saves, while carrying a 2.13 earned run average.


“I am extremely excited about the 2013 season. I learned a lot last year being in my first year as a closer so I am very confident I can use that experience to come back and be even more successful,” mentioned Bodishbaugh. “Last year, we were close in a lot of games and that became the difference in not making the playoffs. This year with a new group of guys I think we’re ready to make that step to not only a division championship but also a league championship. I know with more wins will come more fan support and I’m excited to help bring that to Sioux City.”


The 2012 season ended on a high note for the pitcher from Oakley, CA. On August 15th, the Sioux City Explorers traded Bodishbaugh to the Winnipeg Goldeyes for a player to be named later – that player being Bodishbaugh, was returned to Sioux City on September 26th. With the Goldeyes, he appeared in 9 games, recording 11 strikeouts and 2 saves. Winnipeg went on to win the American Association Championship in 6 games, sweeping the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks and Wichita Wingnuts.


“We are pleased to bring back the heart of our pitching staff in Chris,” commented X’s Field Manager, Stan Cliburn. “He gets it done when he is given the ball late in the game.  I am looking forward to seeing him out on the mound again this year and being a leader for our squad.”


The 2013 season will mark Bodishbaugh’s sixth season in professional baseball. The 28-year-old was drafted in the 48th round by the Florida Marlins in the 2005 MLB Amateur Draft. He spent one season in the Marlines system before beginning his career in independent baseball.  Over five seasons of professional baseball, the hard-throwing righty has struck out 266 batters in 282 innings pitched, while only allowing 112 free passes.


The Explorers will kick off their 21st season on May 16th versus the Sioux Falls Fighting Pheasants, for a split series against their I-29 rivals. Season tickets are on sale now. Call 277-WINS (9467) or stop by the X’s Box Office at Lewis & Clark Park to reserve your seats today!