LINCOLN, Neb. – Former Augustana baseball player Tony Viger signed with the Lincoln Saltdogs out of Lincoln, Neb. on Tuesday night. The Saltdogs are members of the Central Division of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.
He is the 13th player from Augustana to sign a professional contract.
Viger, a finalist for the Tito Martinez Award, awarded to the top baseball player in all of Division II, also made his debut on Tuesday evening. The Sioux Falls, S.D. native went 0 for 4 in his first game as a member of the Lincoln Saltdogs.
The Former O'Gorman High standout also becomes the eighth player to sign a professional contract under the direction of Vikings' skipper Tim Huber. Viger joins Jordan Milbrath, Bret Severtson, Nate Baumann, Drew Heithoff, Derek Hansen, Casey Jacobson, and Charlie Dubanoski.
"This is a great opportunity for Tony. He has earned it after all the hard work he has put in," Huber said. "I think it is safe to say now that two of the best players in the history of the Augustana baseball program have not been drafted with Tony and Nate Baumann (2011). With the season Tony had and his ability, it was disappointing he didn't get drafted by a MLB team but that is how it works some time," Huber said. "He deserves to be a professional baseball player and now he will have an opportunity to prove a lot of scouts wrong."
Viger had a historic season for the Augustana in 2014. He was a unanimous All-America First Team selection by Daktronics, NCBWA, and the ABCA. The former third baseman batted a career-best .407 at the plate for the Vikings. He also smashed a NCAA-leading 28 doubles on the year. Viger led the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference in several categories, which included runs scored (65), doubles (28), hits (90), RBI (62), doubles (28), and total bases (152).
Augustana finished the 2014 season with a school-record 41 wins, going 41-16, giving the Vikings its fifth-straight 30-plus win season. Augustana posted a 25-8 in the NSIC, which was good for a second-place finish.
Augustana also captured its first-ever NSIC Conference Tournament Championship with a 4-3 win over Winona State on May 10 at Karras Park Home of Ronken Field, and made its second appearance in the NCAA Regional Tournament.
Courtesy: Augustana Chris Smith