Press Releases

RailCats claim southpaw Thurston off waivers from Chicago

05/26/2019 3:23 PM -


CONTACT: Jared Shlensky

GARY, IND. — The Gary SouthShore RailCats announced the claiming of left-handed pitcher Ryan Thurston off waivers from the Chicago Dogs before Sunday’s rubber game vs. the Sioux Falls Canaries. In order to make room for Thurston on the 23-man active roster, the ‘Cats placed utility man Morgan Blatnik on irrevocable waivers.

Thurston opened the season on the 7-Day Disabled List with Chicago before getting activated on May 21st. In two appearances with the Dogs, the Madison, Ind., native went 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. In three innings pitched, Thurston yielded just two hits and a walk while striking out one.

Thurston signed his first professional baseball contract with the Toronto Blue Jays as an undrafted free agent on June 7, 2018, following his redshirt-senior season at Western Kentucky University. Thurston appeared in 13 games between the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays (Rookie Affiliate) and the Bluefield Blue Jays (Rookie Affiliate) of the Appalachian League, going 1-2 with a 0.87 ERA. In 31 innings pitched, Thurston allowed seven runs (three earned) on 15 hits, eight walks and one hit batsman while striking out 37 batters.

Over five seasons at Western Kentucky University, Thurston currently ranks second in program history with 299 strikeouts, third with 52 starts and fifth with 306.2 innings pitched. As a redshirt-senior in 2018, Thurston went 4-6 with a 4.24 ERA and a career-high 80.2 innings pitched in 15 games (14 starts).

As a redshirt-junior in 2017, Thurston went 4-6 with a 6.28 ERA in 14 starts. In a team-high 77.1 innings pitched, Thurston allowed 61 runs (54 earned) on 82 hits and 42 walks while striking out a career-best 93 batters. As a redshirt-sophomore in 2016, Thurston went 3-5 with a 4.20 ERA in 15 games (14 starts). In 79 innings, the southpaw allowed 40 runs (37 earned) on 75 hits and 47 walks while striking out 79 batters.

Thurston went 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA in nine games (three starts) as a sophomore in 2015 before receiving a medical redshirt after the season. In 36 innings, Thurston allowed 27 runs (24 earned) on 39 hits and 19 walks while striking out 19 batters. As a true freshman in 2014, Thurston went 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA in 13 games (four starts). In 33 innings, the left-hander allowed eight runs on 20 hits and 20 walks while striking out 21 batters.

Thurston attended Madison High School before attending WKU and played both baseball basketball. Thurston was a three-time All-Conference selection and named to the All-State Honorable Mention Team as a senior in baseball.

Blatnik signed his first American Association contract with Gary on Thursday vs. the Sioux City and started that day at first base. In five plate appearances against the Explorers, Blatnik went 0-for-4 with a run and a strikeout.

Gary concludes their six-game homestand on Sunday night at 6:10 p.m. vs. Sioux Falls. RailCats’ right-hander Christian DeLeon (0-2, 4.32) makes his second home start against Canaries’ right-hander Alex Boshers (1-0, 4.50) in the rubber game.

Sunday’s game is the first Times Family Sunday and Sunday FUNday of the season. Sunday Funday includes $5 cocktails, pre-game catch on the field, presented by Beacon Hill Dental and Kids Run the Bases while the Times Family Sunday special includes $15 tickets for two adults and up to four kids in NWI Times paper and social media outlets. Sunday’s series finale is also Military Appreciation Night, presented by the Indiana National Guard, Michigan City and LaPorte Community Night, presented by Fifth Third Bank, and features a Patriotic Fireworks Super Show.

Ticket packages for the 2019 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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