Press Releases

FORMER CHICAGO CUB HURLER SIGNS WITH THUNDERBOLTS

The Windy City ThunderBolts professional baseball team, 2007 and 2008 Frontier League Champions, has announced the signing of right-handed pitcher Billy Petrick to a contract for the 2009 season. Petrick will be entering his eighth season of professional baseball this summer, highlighted by pitching in eight games for the Chicago Cubs in 2007. Petrick is familiar with the ThunderBolts through his connection with bench coach Mike Kashirsky, who was the field manager for the Upper Deck Cougars team on which Petrick pitched to the 2002 18 & under National Championship.
 
Billy Petrick made his Major League Baseball debut on June 27, 2007 at Wrigley Field against the Colorado Rockies, tossing two innings in the Cubs’ 6-4 victory. Petrick did not allow any runs in five of his eight big league appearances for the Cubs, including four consecutive games from June 29 through July 17. Along with the Rockies, Petrick faced the Milwaukee Brewers, Washington Nationals, San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks, and St. Louis Cardinals. He posted a 7.45 ERA with six strikeouts and a .229 batting average against for the Cubs.
 
The Cubs drafted Petrick in the third round in 2002 out of Morris High School. He was a starting pitcher for his first five seasons in their system, highlighted by a 13-7 record and 3.50 ERA for the Lansing Lugnuts of the Midwest League in 2004. Petrick was promoted to Chicago after recording a 2.37 ERA with two saves and 33 strikeouts in 30.1 innings for the Tennessee Smokies of the Southern League in 2007. He spent 2008 with the Daytona Cubs of the Florida State League, where he had a 1-2 record and 4.09 ERA in eight games. In his minor league career, Petrick has a 27-24 record and 3.71 ERA over 106 games (63 starts) with 331 strikeouts in 397.2 innings.

Petrick will become the fourth player with Major League Baseball playing experience to appear in a Frontier League game this season, with the three previous all being right-handed pitchers as well. Scott Sobkowiak appeared in one game for the Atlanta Braves in 2001 and spent the 2003 and 2004 seasons with the Rockford RiverHawks, where he combined for a 14-14 record and 4.01 ERA over 30 starts. Corey Thurman spent the entire 2002 season and part of 2003 with the Toronto Blue Jays, combining to go 3-4 with a 4.75 ERA in 49 big league games then made six starts with a 2-3 record and 4.38 ERA for the Florence Freedom in 2005. Ben Diggins made five starts for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2003 with an 0-4 record and 8.63 ERA before appearing in 17 games as a first baseman for the ThunderBolts in 2006, hitting .209 with one home run and eight RBI. In addition, former Cleveland Indian and the 1980 American League Rookie of the Year Joe Charboneau had a promotional at bat during game with the Canton Crocodiles in 2000 while he was a member of their coaching staff.
 
“I’ve known Billy for several years and had the privilege of managing him in summer ball before he signed with the Cubs in 2002,” commented Kashirsky. “Billy is a hard worker and will be a great influence on the rest of the staff as he works to climb back to the Majors.”
 
“I’m eager to be joining the ThunderBolts and reuniting with Mike Kashirsky,” commented Petrick. “I am excited about the upcoming season and to begin my journey back to the Major Leagues.”
 
The Windy City ThunderBolts open the 2009 season on Thursday, May 21 at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood. For more information, please visit us online at www.wcthunderbolts.com or contact the ThunderBolts at 708-489-BALL or info@wcthunderbolts.com

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