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EXPLORERS BEGIN TO BUILD ROSTER FOR 2018

EXPLORERS BEGIN TO BUILD ROSTER FOR 2018

EXPLORERS BEGIN TO BUILD ROSTER FOR 2018

EXPLORERS ADD RHP BRIAN ERNST TO PITCHING STAFF

 

SIOUX CITY, IA – The Sioux City Explorers announced today that the club has signed RHP Brian Ernst to a 2018 American Association contract. The upcoming season will be Ernst’s 5th season in professional baseball, all at the independent level.

Ernst began his professional career in 2013 after signing with the American Association’s Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks after going undrafted out of East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. Ernst turned in a successful rookie campaign in 2013, compiling a 7-2 record with a 4.34 ERA in 13 starts. Following the 2013 season, Ernst was named to the Baseball America Independent Leagues Top 25 Prospects as the number 11 prospect among all independent teams. The right-hander would go on to pitch for Fargo-Moorhead in 214 before pitching the 2015 and 2016 seasons for the New Jersey Jackals of the Can-Am League. For his professional career, Ernst owns a 32-23 record with 3 complete games and 1 shutout. In 414.2 career innings pitched, Ernst has compiled 333 strikeouts to just 197 walks.

Ernst enjoyed a stellar collegiate career at East Stroudsburg University where he became the first player in PSAC history with 200 strikeouts as a pitcher and 200 hits at the plate while being named as a three-time All-PSAC selection and a two-time All-Region selection. As a senior, Ernst was a semifinalist for the Josh Willingham Award as the Division II MVP after going 5-2 with a 2.70 ERA and compiling 88 strikeouts in 66.2 innings pitched. Ernst currently ranks in the top 10 in 16 career and season statistical categories at East Stroudsburg University.  

In other team news, the Sioux City Explorers have acquired OF Jay Austin from the Lincoln Saltdogs to complete the March 16 and August 26 trades between the two clubs. Austin was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 2nd round of the 2008 MLB Draft from North Atlanta High School. The speedy outfielder was a highly touted prospect in the Astros organization, ranking as their #10 prospect following the 2008 season and the #8 prospect following the 2009 season. Austin spent 5 years in the Astros organizations, with his best season coming in 2010 playing for the Advanced-A Lancaster JetHawks where he led the entire California League in stolen bases with 54 and was second in the league in triples with 13. For his efforts, Austin was named a 2010 California League All-Star. Austin has spent the last 4 seasons playing at the independent level, most recently with the Sussex County Miners of the Can-Am League. In his 4 independent ball seasons, Austin has recorded an impressive .326 batting average while stealing 104 bases and being caught stealing just 22 times.       

The Explorers 2018 home opener is set for Friday, May 25th versus the Cleburne Railroaders.  Get in the game with the Sioux City Explorers and reserve your 2018 season ticket packages, flex ticket packages or company group outing by calling 712-277-WINS (9467).