RailCats sign Valparaiso native Dougherty to first American Association contract
The Gary SouthShore RailCats announced the signing of right-handed pitcher and Valparaiso native Joe Dougherty prior to Wednesday’s game against. the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. In order to make room for Dougherty on the 23-man active roster, Gary placed right-handed pitcher Andrew Spinnenweber on irrevocable waivers.
Dougherty pitched for the RailCats sister club, the Schaumburg Boomers of the Frontier League, earlier this season and finished without a record and a 3.93 ERA in 13 relief appearances. In 16 innings, Dougherty allowed eight runs (seven earned) on 16 hits and 13 walks while striking out 16 batters. Dougerthy didn’t allow a run in his first two appearances, didn’t allow an earned run in three of his first four appearances, and recorded at least one strikeout in 13 of his games.
Dougherty began his first professional baseball career with the Eastside Diamond Hoppers of the United Shores Professional Baseball League in 2018. Dougherty was named to the USPBL All-Star Game and went 2-2 with a 3.85 ERA in 10 games (six starts). In a career-high 37.1 innings pitched, Dougherty allowed 19 runs (16 earned) on 29 hits and 34 walks while striking out 34 batters.
In the winter of 2018, Dougherty pitched for the Canada A’s of the California Winter League. Dougherty closed out the winter with 4.1 scoreless innings pitched and didn’t allow a run in three of his last four appearances. In 20.1 innings pitched, Dougherty yielded just seven runs on 20 hits and 12 walks, while striking out 35 hitters.
Prior to beginning his professional baseball career in 2018, Dougherty pitched for four years (2015-18) at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana. In 42 career appearances (20 starts), Dougherty struck out 78 hitters over 106.1 innings.
As a senior in 2018, Dougherty went 0-7 with a complete game and a 6.75 ERA in 12 games (11 starts). Dougherty also logged a career-high 54.2 innings pitched and 42 strikeouts. As a junior in 2017, Dougherty went 0-2 in 10 games (one start). As a sophomore in 2016, Dougherty went 3-2 with one complete game shutout and an 8.53 ERA in 11 games (five starts). As a freshman in 2015, Dougherty went 0-2 in nine games (three starts).
Prior to beginning his collegiate baseball career at Grace College, Dougherty attended Morgan Township High School and holds the school record for most career wins (20) and strikeouts (253).
Spinnenweber became the first professional baseball player in the history of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) after signing his first pro contract with Gary on July 12th. Spinnenweber appeared in two games (one start, one relief appearance) with Gary. The right-hander allowed two runs over two innings in his professional baseball debut as the “opener” on July 12th vs. the Cleburne Railroaders.
Gary continues their season-long 10-day, 11-game homestand and four-game series against Fargo-Moorhead on Wednesday night at 6:45 p.m. RailCats’ right-hander Justin Sinibaldi (2-4, 3.19) opposes RedHawks’ right-hander Michael Tamburino (4-4, 4.38) in game three of the series.
Wednesday’s game is another Creekside “Pop-Up Bar Wednesday,” celebrating Parks & Recreation, and is another NorthShore Health Centers Wednesday. Wednesday’s game is also Hammond Public Library Night. Visit any Northwest Indiana NorthShore Health Center for complimentary tickets to a RailCats game.Ticket packages for the 2019 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.