The Gary SouthShore RailCats signed Michigan City, Ind., native Robbie Coursel and left-handed pitcher Mario Samuel before Monday’s series opener vs. the Winnipeg Goldeyes. In order to make room for Coursel and Samuel on the active roster, Gary traded outfielder Reggie Wilson to the Rockland Boulders of the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball (Cam-Am League) for a player to be named later and removed right-handed pitcher Scott Plaza from the 23-man active roster.
Coursel signed his first Independent Professional Baseball contract on Monday after last pitching for the Bristol Pirates in the Appalachian League (Rookie Ball) in 2016 after getting selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 26th round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of Florida Atlantic University. The right-hander 0-3 with a 4.26 ERA in 15 relief appearances with Bristol, yielding 12 earned runs on 29 hits and 16 walks while striking out 21 batters in 25.1 innings.
Samuel signed his first professional baseball contract with Gary on Monday after completing his senior season at the University of Wisconsin at Parkside in 2017. Earlier this year, Samuel pitched for the Hammond Lakers of the Chicago Suburban Baseball League. As a senior UW-Parkside in 2017, the southpaw went 3-5 with a 4.78 ERA in a team-high 11 starts and led the Rangers in innings (64) and strikeouts (67). A native of Bolingbrook, Ill., Samuel pitched for the Kenosha Kingfish in Northwoods Summer Baseball League in 2015. In eight games (one start) with the Kingfish, Samuel went 3-0 with a 4.76 ERA.
Wilson hit .229 with a team-high five triples, .344 on-base percentage, 38 runs, 12 doubles, one home run, 20 RBIs, 39 walks, five sacrifice flies and 10 stolen bases in 70 games with Gary this season. In 2017, Wilson led the RailCats with 52 walks and batted .239 with 40 runs, seven doubles, three triples, 17 RBIs and 14 stolen bases in 81 games. Wilson signed his first American Association contract with Gary on Aug. 8, 2016, and hit .337 with a .441 OBP, .909 OPS, 26 runs, five doubles, two triples, one home run, 14 RBIs and four stolen bases over 27 games in his first year with the RailCats.
Plaza was 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in five games (one start) in his first season with Gary. Plaza yielded two earned runs on nine hits, two walks and struck out 10 in 14 innings. A native of Arlington Heights, Ill., Plaza signed his first American Association contract with the RailCats on July 24th and threw a perfect inning of relief in his American Association debut that night vs. Sioux Falls. The right-hander recorded his first win in his first start on July 28th against Cleburne after allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits, a walk and struck out seven in 6.1 innings.
Gary begins a six-game, seven-day homestand on Monday vs. the Winnipeg Goldeyes. RailCats RHP Keaton Steele (4-3, 2.89) makes his sixth straight start against Goldeyes RHP Alex Boshers (3-8, 5.29) in the series opener.
Monday’s series opener vs. the back-to-back American Association Champion Winnipeg Goldeyes is at 7:10 p.m. and is another All You Can Eat Night and Metro PCS Monday. Fans can purchase their $10 All You Can Eat Wristband for hot dogs, peanuts and popcorn at the box office before and during Monday’s game against the Goldeyes.
Jared Shlensky and Brennan Mense bring you all 100 RailCats game this season on WEFM (95.9 FM) and online at railcatsbaseball.com. Ticket packages for the 2018 Gary SouthShore RailCats season are available online at railcatsbaseball.com 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.