Press Releases

Willis named American Association Rookie of the Year

09/03/2017 10:50 AM -

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 3, 2017
Contact: Jared Shlensky

GARY, Ind. — The American Association announced on Sunday afternoon that Gary SouthShore RailCats outfielder Colin Willis was named the league’s Rookie of the Year. Willis is the second RailCat to be named the Rookie of the Year award and the first since Mike Rohde won it back in 2008 (Northern League).

Willis is currently ninth in the league and first among rookies with a .316 batting average this season. The 25-year-old also leads the RailCats in home runs (eight), runs (54), total bases (149), on-base percentage (.405), slugging percentage (.483), OPS (.888) and multi-hit games (28).

“Colin has earned everything he has achieved this year,” said manager Greg Tagert. “Just a tremendous story for him and the RailCats and we wouldn’t be where we’re at today without him.”

Willis hit .231 with three extra-base hits, five RBIs and three runs in 11 games after signing with Gary on August 31, 2016. The Sheboygan, Wis., native began his professional baseball career with Gary after hitting .364 with five home runs and 23 RBIs as a senior at Purdue University–North Central in 2015. Willis was inducted into the Purdue-North Central Hall of Fame in 2016 and is the school’s single-season leader in hits (93), runs (65), stolen bases (28) and triples (8).

Gary concludes the regular season on Monday afternoon at 1:10 p.m. vs. Lincoln. Southpaw Alex Gunn (8-5, 3.47) makes his league-high 25th start of the year for the RailCats while the Saltdogs send right-hander Seth Webster (5-4, 3.71) to the hill.

Monday’s game is Fan Appreciation Day and the last regular season MetroPCS Monday. Visit your local NW Indiana MetroPCS locations for reserved seat ticket vouchers and remember to bring your glove and a ball for a pre-game catch on the field with the team before first pitch.

Jared Shlensky and Austin Anderson bring you all 100 RailCats games this season on WEFM (95.9 FM) and online at Fans can purchase tickets for RailCats home games by calling (219) 882-BALL or online at The RailCats box office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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