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SIOUX CITY, IA - With the calendars flipped to 2012, the Sioux City Explorers and Field Manager Stan Cliburn have turned their attention to putting together a championship caliber roster for the upcoming season, their 20th in Sioux City. Wasting no time, today the X’s have announced the re-signing of starting pitcher, Nick Schumacher. The 2012 will mark Schumacher’s second season in an Explorers uniform.

The 2011 season was a stellar year for the 26-year-old, Wayne State College graduate. In 21 starts, Schumacher led the X’s with 10 wins, while throwing 3 complete games, his final appearance being a complete game shutout versus the St. Paul Saints on August 26, 2011. In 148.2 innings pitched, a single season record for the Explorers, he struck out 123 batters while only allowing 54 free passes. An American Association Pitcher of the Week, Schumacher landed 2nd in the league in strikeouts (123) and 3rd in ERA (3.03), behind teammate David Trahan (2.67) and Sioux Falls’ Ben Moore (2.92).

Schumacher was traded to the York Revolution of the Atlantic League after the completion of the X’s 2012 season, to help the Rev’s in their playoff push. In 7 starts with York, the right-hander went 3-2 with a miniscule 2.37 ERA, while allowing only 4 runs in 21.1 innings pitched during the playoffs. The Revolution went on to win the Atlantic League Championship, where Schumacher was the starting pitcher in Game 1 and 5.

“We are excited to have back the ace of the Explorers for our 20th season in 2012,” commented Cliburn on Schumacher’s return. “Nick was very effective all year long as our number one starter. I look forward to managing him again this season.”

Drafted in the 28th round of the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft, Schumacher spent three seasons in the San Diego Padres farm system. In 2010, he was selected as a Midwest League All-Star with the Fort Wayne Tin Caps. Schumacher compiled a 14-9 record, out of the bullpen, with a 3.46 ERA and 143 strikeouts in 164 innings pitched, while in the Padres system.

The Explorers will kick off their 20th season on May 17th in Sioux Falls, SD versus the Fighting Pheasants, for a split series against their I-29 rivals. The X’s 2012 Home Opener will be Saturday, May 19th versus the Pheasants in a 7:05 contest with post-game fireworks following the game. Season tickets are on sale now. Call 277-WINS or stop by the off-season office (600 Stevens Port Dr. #112, Dakota Dunes, SD) to reserve your seats today!