RailCats ink infielder McCarthy to first pro contract

GARY, IND. — The Gary SouthShore RailCats signed infielder Tommy McCarthy to his first professional baseball contract before Friday’s 11:59 p.m. end of the season roster signing deadline. In order to make room for McCarthy on the 23-man active roster, Gary released outfielder Nick Herzog.

McCarthy recently graduated from The College of New Jersey and slashed .326/.421/.436./.857 with 36 runs, 56 hits, 13 doubles, two home runs, 34 RBIs, 11 hit by pitches and two stolen bases in 44 games as a senior. As a junior in 2018, McCarthy was named the New Jersey Athletic Conference Bill Dioguardi Player of the Year after slashing .316/.410/.428/.838 with 23 runs, 48 hits, 10 doubles, two triples, one home run, 30 RBIs, and a stolen base in 40 games.

As a sophomore in 2017, McCarthy set a single-season school record with a .997 fielding percentage at first base and slashed .276/.384/.331/.715 with 18 runs, 35 hits, five doubles, one triple, 23 RBIs, two hit by pitches and two stolen bases in 42 games (26 starts). A native of Allentown, N.J., McCarthy went 3-for-15 with five runs, a double and two RBIs in eight games (four starts).

Herzog signed his first American Association contract with Gary last Sunday and went 0-for-14 with a walk and seven strikeouts in six games. Herzog signed his first professional baseball contract with the Santa Fe Fuego of the PECOS following his senior season at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. In 25 games with the Fuego, Herzog slashed .356/.460/.685/1.145 with 23 runs, 26 hits, six doubles, six home runs, 20 RBIs, three stolen bases and eight hit by pitches. Herzog reached base safely in 21 of his 25 games and reached base safely in his last 10 games with Santa Fe.

A native of Riverhead, N.Y., Herzog ranks first in school history in career games played (188) and triples (12) and set a single-season school record in triples (12) and total bases (146) as a senior in 2019. Over his four-year career from 2016-19, Herzog slashed .309/.401/.482/.883 with 137 runs, 184 hits, 31 doubles, 15 triples, 14 home runs, 60 extra-base hits, 141 RBIs and 54 stolen bases in 189 games played.

Before signing with Santa Fe, Herzog was named the ABCA Division III Player of the Year, the NEIBA/ABCA New England Player of the Year, the NCAA Regional Tournament Most Outstanding Player, ABCA First Team All-American, D3Baseball.com Second Team All-American, D3Baseball.com First Team All-New England Region and First Team All-Little Conference as a senior at UMass Boston. Herzog helped the Beacons reach the Division III College World Series Semifinals for the first time in school history and slashed a team-best .357/.433/.695/1.128 with 59 runs, 75 hits, 14 doubles, 12 triples, 11 home runs, 37 extra-base hits, 57 RBIs and 23 stolen bases in 51 games.

As a junior in 2018, Herzog led the Beacons with 18 stolen bases and slashed .272/.376/.352/.728 with 33 runs, 44 hits, six doubles, two triples, one home run, nine extra-base hits and 34 RBIs in 47 games. As a sophomore in 2017, Herzog was named the NCAA New England Regional MVP and finished the season with a .291/.385/.370/.755 slash line. In 50 games, Herzog also posted 33 runs, 55 hits, seven doubles, one triple, two home runs, 10 extra-base hits, 40 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. As a freshman in 2016, Herzog slashed .286/.419/.400/.819 with 12 runs, 10 hits, four doubles, 10 RBIs and three stolen bases in 41 games.

Gary begins a six-game road trip on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. against Lincoln at Haymarket Park. RailCats’ right-hander Nile Ball makes his fifth professional start for the RailCats while the Saltdogs have yet to announce their starting pitcher in the first matchup of the year between the two teams.

Gary returns home to U.S. Steel Yard on Saturday, Aug. 31st to conclude the season vs. Lincoln. Saturday’s game is at 4:10 p.m. and is Oktoberfest, presented by Berey Bros., and features a team card set giveaway to the first 1,000 fans. Sunday’s game is also another AccessAbilities Signature Saturday and Kids Run the Bases.

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.