RailCats sign Alkire to first pro contract, activate Fontenot from DL
The Gary SouthShore RailCats activated right-handed pitcher Kaleb Fontenot from the 7-Day Disabled List and signed right-handed pitcher Jack Alkire to his first professional baseball contract before Wednesday’s game against the Milwaukee Milken. In order to make room for Fontenot and Alkire on the 23-man active roster, Gary placed right-handed pitcher David Griffin on irrevocable waivers and placed left-handed pitcher Lars Liguori on the 7-Day Disabled List retroactive to June 26th with a fatigued left arm.
Fontenot missed seven games with a tired right arm and was 0-4 with a 5.78 ERA in nine games (two starts) before being placed on the 7-Day Disabled List on June 19th. Fontenot last pitched on June 18th against Fargo-Moorhead in his second start of the season, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks while striking out a pair over a season-high four innings pitched. Fontenot made his first seven appearances as a reliever before moving to the starting rotation on June 13th.
Alkire recently graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University and went 6-1 with a 4.26 ERA in 17 games (seven starts) as a senior. The right-hander allowed 27 runs (24 earned runs) on 41 hits and 21 walks while striking out 49 batters in a career-high 50.2 innings. Alkire limited opponents to a .218 batting average and tied for the team lead with six victories.
As a junior in 2018, Alkire went 1-1 with a 2.50 ERA in 15 games (five starts). In 39.2 innings pitched, Alkire allowed 13 runs (11 earned) on 18 hits and 24 walks while striking out 44 batters. Alkire posted a career-best 1.06 WHIP and held opponents to a team-best .140 batting average.
As a sophomore in 2017, Alkire made one appearance against Marist, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk while striking out one. During the summer of 2017, Alkire played for the Bethesda Big Train of the Cal Ripken League, going 1-1 with a 5.21 ERA in in 13 relief appearances. In 19 innings, the right-hander allowed 16 runs (11 earned) on 25 hits and 13 walks while striking out 22 batters.
As a freshman in 2016, Alkire went 1-1 with a 9.42 ERA in nine games (one start). In 14 innings, Alkire allowed 19 runs (15 earned) on 30 hits and seven walks while striking out 13 batters. During the summer of 2016, Alkire pitched for the Charlottesville TomSox of the Valley League, going 2-1 with a 4.23 ERA in 11 games (five starts). In 38.1 innings, Alkire allowed 19 runs (18 earned) on 35 hits and 12 walks while striking out 22 batters.
Prior to beginning his collegiate career in 2016, Alkire was the third-rated prospect in the state of Maryland for the 2015 graduating class and was named Second Team All-MET by the Washington Post.
Griffin signed his first American Association contract with Gary on May 29th and went 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in six relief outings. In 14 innings pitched, the right-hander allowed five runs on 11 hits and nine walks while striking out 12. Griffin didn’t allow a run in his first five appearances, covering 7.1 innings. Griffin made his professional baseball debut on May 29th against Winnipeg and retired all six batters he faced, one via a strikeout. The right-hander then recorded his first professional win in his next appearance on June 2nd against Kansas City after allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits while striking out one.
Liguori is 3-4 with one complete game and a 5.97 ERA in 10 games (nine starts). In a team-high 57.1 innings, the southpaw has allowed 40 runs (38 earned runs) on 78 hits and 17 walks while striking out 31 batters. Liguori recorded the RailCats first complete game performance on Tuesday against Milwaukee and has logged 28.1 innings over his last four appearances.
Gary continues their season-long 10-game road trip against Milwaukee in the inaugural series at Routine Field on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. Fontenot (0-4, 5.78) makes his first appearance off the Disabled List while the Milkmen counter with veteran right-hander Angel Ventura (2-4, 2.70).
Gary returns home to U.S. Steel Yard on Friday, June 28th for a three-game homestand vs. the reigning American Association Champion Kansas City T-Bones. Friday’s game is AmeriCAN Beer Fest, presented by Berey Bros., Indiana 105 Country Night, and another Fifth Third Bank Fireworks Friday.
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.