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SIOUX CITY, IA The Sioux City Explorers announced today that they have re-signed OF Michael Lang to a 2014 American Association contract. Lang spent the past year and a half in the Arizona Diamondbacks system, after starting his professional career in Sioux City with the X’s in 2012.


Lang, 25, originally signed with the Sioux City Explorers on February 26th, 2012 and in (35) games with the X’s that season, Lang compiled a .405 batting average, while collecting 49 hits, 7 doubles, 3 triples, 4 homeruns in 121 at-bats, while  scoring 28 runs and driving in 25 runs. Due to his performance, his contract was purchased by the Diamondbacks and Lang spent the remainder of the 2012 season with the D-Backs Northwest League affiliate in Yakima, WA.  With the Yakima Bears, Lang appeared in 55 games and hit .258, while collecting 50 hits, 10 doubles, 3 triples, and 6 homeruns to go along with a .318 on base percentage.  Lang spent the entire 2013 season with the Diamondbacks Midwest League affiliate, South Bend Silver Hawks.  In 87 games, Lang compiled a .263 batting average and accumulated 77 hits, 13 doubles, 7 triples, 5 homeruns.


“Obviously we wish things would have worked out for Michael with the Diamondbacks, but we are thrilled to have him re-join us for the upcoming season. We hope he comes in here and produces the way he did in this league in 2012, so he gets another opportunity with an affiliated organization in the future,” comments field manager Steve Montgomery.


Lang played his collegiate years at Rutgers University (2008-2011) and made the All-BIG EAST 2nd Team his senior season. The strong arm outfielder was one of the best in the conference recording six outfield assists from his corner outfield position. Over his collegiate years, Lang has been regarded as one of the best in Rutgers history, ranking in the top 10 for career triples (t-3rd, 13), hits (t-4th, 229), total bases (5th, 372), runs (6th, 176), doubles (t-7th, 48) and home runs (t-9th, 23).


“It’s honestly a blessing and honor to be coming back to Sioux City this season as it feels like home to me, stated Michael Lang. Sioux City was the only team that gave me an opportunity to start my professional baseball career and I was very excited when I was offered an opportunity to return this season.  I prayed a lot about it and in my heart I knew Sioux City was where I was meant to be this season.  I am really looking forward to working with Steve and Shane and I hope we can have a championship season.”


In other news, the Sioux City Explorers have signed SS Nate Samson to an American Association contract after Samson was given his release by the Chicago Cubs organization.  Samson was originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 34th round of the 2006 June MLB Amateur draft.  Samson spent 8 seasons (2006-2013) in the Cubs organization and spent parts of 5 seasons at the AA level and parts of 2 seasons at the AAA level.  Samson appeared in (42) games for the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 2013, before returning to the Cubs organization last season.  For his 8 year career, Samson has only had 105 errors in 632 games (2642 chances), while recording 1579 assists.  For his career, Samson has a career .960 fielding percentage and a .261 batting average.  The X’s have also traded RHP Preston Olson to the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League for a player to be named later.


2014 Season Tickets are on sale now by calling (712) 277-WINS (9467) and group reservations are being accepted for all 50 home games on the 2014 schedule, including the 2014 home opener on Saturday, May 17th.