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RailCats sign LHP Wright to first American Association contract

Contact: Jared Shlensky
[email protected]

GARY, Ind. — The Gary SouthShore RailCats signed left-handed pitcher Austin Wright to his first American Association contract before Monday’s two-games against the Chicago Dogs and placed right-handed pitcher Gabe Perez on the seven-day disabled list retroactive to Thursday, Aug. 16.

Wright went 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA in six relief appearances with the Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Bay Rays Double-A affiliate) before signing with Gary. A native of Schaumburg, Ill., Wright began his professional baseball career in 2011 after getting selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the eighth round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of the University of Mississippi. The southpaw was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 23rd round of the 2008 MLB Draft out of Conant High School and again in the 23rd round by the Boston Red Sox in the 2010 MLB Draft out of Old Dominion University but didn’t sign.

Wright began his professional baseball career with the Williamsport Crosscutters (Philadelphia Phillies Class-A, Short-Season affiliate) in 2011, going 3-1 with one complete game and a 3.38 ERA in eight games (seven starts) before getting promoted to the Lakewood BlueClaws (Philadelphia Phillies Class-A affiliate) later in the year. Wright finished the 2011 campaign with Lakewood, going 1-2 with a 2.67 ERA in seven starts. In 33.2 innings, Wright yielded just 10 earned runs on 29 hits, nine walks and struck out 41 batters.

Wright spent all of 2012 with the Clearwater Threshers (Philadelphia Phillies Class-A Advanced affiliate), finishing 11-5 with a 3.47 ERA in 27 games (25 starts) and was named the team MVP and a Florida State League Midseason and Postseason All-Star. Wright set career-highs with the Threshers in starts (25), innings pitched (147.2) and strikeouts (133). Wright was promoted to the Reading Fightin Phils (Philadelphia Phillies Double-A affiliate) in 2013 and went 6-5 with a 5.92 ERA in 27 games (16 starts).

Wright returned to Reading again in 2014, going 2-4 with a 5.06 ERA in 32 relief appearance. In 48 innings pitched, Wright yielded 27 earned runs on 41 hits, 44 walks and struck out 38. Wright began his Independent Professional Baseball career with the Windy City ThunderBolts of the Frontier League in 2015, going 5-11 with two complete games and a 4.46 ERA in 20 games (19 starts). In 111 innings, Wright allowed 55 earned runs on 121 hits, 55 walks and struck out 100.

Wright had his contract purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks in October of 2015 and split time between the Visalia Rawhide (Arizona Diamondbacks Class-A Advanced affiliate) and the Mobile BayBears (Arizona Diamondbacks Double-A affiliate) in 2016. Wright went 2-0 with one save and a miniscule 0.46 ERA in 16 relief appearances with Visalia before getting promoted to Mobile. Wright held opponents to a .192 batting average and posted a 1.12 WHIP after allowing just one earned run on 13 hits and nine walks while striking out 26 batters over 19.2 innings with the Rawhide. In 27 relief appearances with Mobile, Wright went 3-3 with one save and a 4.33 ERA in 43.2 innings.

Wright signed a minor league free agent contract with the Colorado Rockies before the start of the 2017 minor league season and finished without a record and a 5.40 ERA in six relief appearances with the Hartford Yard Goats (Colorado Rockies Double-A affiliate). In 7.1 innings, Wright allowed four earned runs on six hits, seven walks and struck out five hitters.

In 24 games (10 starts), Perez is 5-1 with five saves and a 3.21 ERA. The first-year RailCat has gone at least five innings in each of his last four starts and hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in each of them. Perez was traded from Kansas City to Gary in exchange for right-handed pitcher Jake Matthys on Jan. 9.

Gary resumes their suspended contest from game two of July 4th’s doubleheader on Monday in Rosemont, Ill., against the Chicago Dogs at 5:05 p.m. Play will pick up in the top of the second inning with the RailCats trailing the Dogs, 2-0. Monday’s originally scheduled game will then follow 30 minutes after the resumption of the suspended game concludes. RailCats LHP Lars Liguori (2-6, 3.82) opposes Dogs RHP John Goossen-Brown (6-6, 4.95) in later of Monday’s two-game tilt.

Gary returns home on Thursday fora doubleheader against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks after the two teams were postponed in Fargo, N.D., back on July 19th. Game one will begin at 5 p.m. with game two following 30 minutes after the completion of game one. Thursday features a Throwback Jersey Auction, presented by Rieth-Riley, and is another Beer and Dog Thursday, presented by Miller Lite & GFS, and a Gerber Collision and Glass Thursday. Beer and Dog Thursday’s include $2.50 hot dogs, $1.50 domestic drafts and $3.00 select premium drafts.

Jared Shlensky and Brennan Mense bring you all 100 RailCats game this season on WEFM (95.9 FM) and online at Ticket packages for the 2018 Gary SouthShore RailCats season are available online at and can also be purchased by calling the RailCats ticket line at (219) 882-BALL. The RailCats box office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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