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Wanger Returns to Pitching Staff


Lancaster, PA — The Lancaster Barnstormers have signed former Chicago Cubs outfielder Mark Zagunis to a contract for the 2022 season, it was announced today by manager Ross Peeples.

In addition, the Barnstormers have announced the return of right-handed reliever Ben Wanger from the 2021 staff.

The signings bring the total number of players under contract for the upcoming campaign to 15.

Zagunis, 29, spent a portion of three seasons (2017-19) at Wrigley Field.  The New Jersey native appeared in 42 total games, with a .200 average over 55 career at bats.  He picked up his first hit on May 9, 2018 off Miami’s Merandy Gonzalez, and two days later notched a double off the White Sox’ Luis Avilan.  The right-handed batter hit .250 (9-36) with three doubles and five RBI for the Cubs in 2019.

After a stellar collegiate career at Virginia Tech, Zagunis signed with Chicago as the team’s third round pick in 2014.  He batted a combined .288 with 10 homers between Class AA Tennessee and Class AAA Iowa in 2016 and spent the next three years, outside of his big league promotions, at Iowa, batting .267, .272 and .294 respectively.

He sat out the 2021 season.

“Zagunis is a veteran guy who will bring experience to the lineup,” said Peeples. “He will be a good right-handed bat in the middle of our order.”

Wanger, who turns 25 in April, joined the Barnstormers in late June and went 0-1 with a 5.67 ERA in 15 appearances.  In his first two games, he yielded only one hit over four innings while striking out six.  Seven of his 15 appearances were scoreless.  Wanger was also 1-for-8 at the plate.

The Boston-area native was a two-way player in college, pitching right-handed and batting left as a first baseman and pitching at Yale and USC before finishing his career at Miami (FL), strictly as a pitcher.  He hit .268 with 14 homers, including a .317-8-48 sophomore season with the Bulldogs.

Wanger was also a member of Team Israel in the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021, joining his Lancaster teammate Blake Gailen on the roster.  Team Israel finished fifth in the six-team tournament.

The Barnstormers open their 2022 season at Gastonia on April 21.  Lancaster opens its 2022 season at Clipper Magazine Stadium on April 29 against the archrival York Revolution with the game scheduled for 6:30.

About the Lancaster Barnstormers

The Lancaster Barnstormers are headed into their 18th year in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.  Home games are played at Ballpark Digest’s two-time Best Ballpark in MLB Partner League Baseball – Clipper Magazine Stadium in downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Please call 717.509.HITS (4487) or visit www.lancasterbarnstormers.com for more information.

 About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)

With teams throughout the Mid-Atlantic, the ALPB is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 1,000 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 44 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 24-year history. For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.