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Ledet Returns for Second Season, McIlraith Added to Roster

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Sioux City, IA (April 12th, 2022)  The Sioux City Explorers have announced the signings of LHP Patrick Ledet and RHP Thomas McIlraith to 2022 American Association contracts. 

The 2022 season will be Ledet’s sixth in professional baseball and his second with the Explorers. 

Last season Patrick Ledet (Luh-Day) started in 19 games, earned a 9-6 record and a 6.25 ERA over 99.1 innings. The southpaw flashed electric stuff, but also great control. He struck out a team high 119 batters, also good for sixth most in the league while walking only 26 with a strikeout to walk ratio of 4.6:1. 

A complete game on June 16th at Kane County earned Ledet league “Pitcher of the Week” honors. His best performance came when the X’s needed him most in the South Division Wild Card Game. On the road in Cleburne, Ledet tossed five innings of shutout baseball, surrendered only three hits and struck out two to pick up the win. 

The 27 year old had a strong finish to the 2021 campaign. Over his final four starts he went 4-0, with a 0.86 ERA with 21 strikeouts to just six walks, all while getting no more than four runs in support. 

Prior to joining the X’s Ledet was one of the few pro baseball players who did play in 2020. He started seven games for the Sugar Land Lightning Sloths of the Constellation Energy League. A four team independent league based out of Sugarland, Texas. He held a 4.70 ERA and compiled a 1-2 record with 23 innings of work. In that time he struck out 21 and walked nine.

The native Texan has spent his professional career in independent baseball. He began his career in the Frontier League with the Windy City Thunderbolts and the Lake Erie Crushers.  The 2019 season spent in Lake Erie produced career best numbers. He made 19 starts going 6-4 with a career low 2.34 ERA. Tossed 119.1 innings, tallying 109 strikeouts. The stellar season earned the six foot, 187 pound lefty a spot on the Frontier League All-Star Team.

The first two seasons in the Frontier League came with the Windy City Thunderbolts. In those two years he went 8-10 over 33 trips to the mound with 17 of those being starts. In 120 innings of work he held a 4.42 ERA, striking out 107 batters over that time.

Collegiately Ledet stayed in state playing at Stephen F Austin in the Southland Conference. Pitching for the Lumberjacks all four seasons he went 16-12 with a 4.05 ERA in 70 games and 31 starts. He racked up 173 strikeouts in that time to just 78 walks. He made the transition from bullpen arm to starter between his Sophomore and Junior seasons.

The 2022 campaign will be McIlraith’s seventh season of professional baseball and his first with the Explorers and in independent baseball. 

Drafted by the New York Mets in the 20th round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of the University of Oklahoma, Thomas McIlraith has only known the Mets farm system. He spent all six seasons of professional baseball with the Metropolitans affiliates reaching as high as Double-A. 

McIlraith becomes another former Mets prospect and member of the 2017 Columbia Fireflies squad to sign with the Explorers. Other names include Blake Tiberi, Brandon Brosher, Max Kuhns and Matt Pobereyko. 

Last season the right hander pitched exclusively for Double-A, Binghamton and went 1-2 with a 6.23 ERA in 14 games. He struck out 30 batters in 21.2 innings and walked 15. 

McIlraith has been a reliever over the last three seasons after initially breaking into pro ball as a starter. Out of the bullpen with Binghamton and High-A St. Lucie, McIlraith has combined to pitch in 65 games, 116.2 innings with an ERA of 4.16, struck out 115 batters, and picked up a save. 

The 28 year old was at Oklahoma for a single season as a reliever where he made 13 appearances and authored a 6.39 ERA. His first two seasons of collegiate ball were played at Midland College in Texas. 

With the additions of LHP Patrick Ledet and RHP Thomas McIlraith the Explorers have now signed thirteen players (8 pitchers, 5 position players) to a 2022 contract.

RHP Matteo Bocchi

RHP Zach Hedges

LHP Patrick Ledet

RHP Luis Madero

RHP Thomas McIlraith

RHP Carlos Sierra

RHP Michael Slaten

RHP Jonah Smith

INF Nate Samson

INF Blake Tiberi

OF Chase Harris

OF Ademar Rifaela

OF Sebastian Zawada

The Sioux City Explorers 30th year in Siouxland will begin at MercyOne Field at Lewis and Clark Park on May 17 versus the Lake Country DockHounds. Season, Group and Single Game Tickets are now all on sale and can be purchased by calling (712) 277-9467.