GARY, IN. 7-7–2010 – Former Wheaton (Ill.) College infielder Brian Kolb, who led all of NCAA Division III in batting as a sophomore, has signed a 2010 contract with the Northern League’s Gary SouthShore RailCats, the team announced today. To make room for Kolb on the active roster, the RailCats have placed pitcher Randy Johnson on irrevocable waivers for the purpose of granting his unconditional release.
Kolb, 22, will make his professional debut with the RailCats tonight coming off a stellar four seasons at Wheaton. Kolb finished his four-year career ranked 13th in NCAA Division III history with 270 career hits and 17th in NCAA Division III history in batting average (.450). A California native, Kolb is Wheaton’s all-time career leader in 10 different offensive categories, including batting average, on-base percentage (.517), hits, doubles (56), runs batted in (156) and runs scored (173).
A three-time All-Region honoree and a First Team All-America pick in 2008, Kolb put up gaudy numbers all four seasons with the Thunder. His banner year was 2008, when Kolb hit a ridiculous .527 with a school-record 71 hits and set school records in doubles (19), RBI (53) and stolen bases (25-for-25) in only 36 games. Kolb hit over .400 each of the next two years and was named to the All-College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin team four straight seasons, taking home Player of the Year honors in 2008.
Kolb also has wood bat experience each of the last three summers, playing with the FCA Grays of the M.I.N.K. League in 2008 and in the renowned Alaska Baseball League in 2009. Kolb had been playing this summer in the Peach State League in Macon, Ga., hitting .485 with four doubles in eight games.
Johnson, 24, pitched in one game for the RailCats, throwing 1.1 scoreless innings Sunday, July 4 in Schaumburg. A professional rookie out of UW-Whitewater, Johnson walked one and allowed one hit in his pro debut.
Kolb and the RailCats (23-22) conclude a three-game series with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (25-16) at U. S. Steel Yard today at noon with Willie Glen (4-2, 3.79 ERA) opposing Scott Fogelson (4-2, 3.77 ERA). The game will be broadcast live on 89.1 FM, The Lakeshore, and online at www.railcatsbaseball.com.