FROM NDSU-FARGO, N.D. - Former North Dakota State University shortstop Max Casper (2009-12) was selected to play in the Frontier League All-Star Game on July 17 as a reserve infielder for the East Division team. Casper was hitting .270 with a .346 on-base percentage through July 11 for the Lake Erie Crushers.
Two other former NDSU players from the 2013 team have entered professional baseball. Right-handed pitchers Simon Anderson (2010-13) and Kyle Kingsley (2010-13) signed with the Roswell Invaders of the Pecos League in June and were traded to the Taos Blizzard where they have each appeared in two games.
Right-handed pitcher John Straka (2009-13), who was drafted by the Texas Rangers in June, has appeared in six games as a reliever for the Single-A affiliate Spokane Indians of the Northwest League. Straka has a 0-0 record and 4.38 ERA with 10 strikeouts and two walks in 12 1/3 innings.
Left-hander Jake Laber (2005-08) is in his sixth season of professional baseball and his fifth with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks of the American Association where he is 4-5 with a 3.01 ERA in 11 starts this year.
NDSU saves leader Neil Wagner (2003-05) returned to the major leagues with the Toronto Blue Jays in May and is 2-3 with a 3.12 ERA in 18 relief appearances. Wagner is in his eighth year of pro ball including a 2011 call-up to the Oakland Athletics where he pitched five innings in six relief appearances.
Two other former Bison pitchers were recently released from independent league teams. Right-hander Luke Anderson (2010-12) was 2-2 with a 6.14 ERA in nine starts for the St. Paul Saints in the American Association, and rightly Jason Mattila (2010-11) was 0-0 with a 5.00 ERA in seven games for the Traverse City Beach Bums of the Frontier League.