Thursday, April 19, 2012
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – The Grand Prairie AirHogs have re-signed a pair of pitchers from their 2011 championship club, bringing back righties Lance Janke and Jakob Cunningham for 2012.
Janke joined the AirHogs in late June, and fired six innings of one-run ball to win his debut. He compiled a 6-3 record in 11 starts with Grand Prairie, posting a 5.40 ERA. His best outing came August 10 in Kansas City, when he threw eight shutout innings, allowing five hits and two walks. In the playoffs, Janke appeared as a reliever in two games.
The 25-year-old Californian spent the first three and a half seasons of his career in the Cincinnati Reds organization, advancing to High-A in the California League. He was a 14th round draft pick of Cincinnati in 2008.
Cunningham was unearthed by manager Ricky VanAsselberg with Shreveport-Bossier in 2009, when the then-rookie from Lubbock Christian University earned an American Association All-Star nod, eventually posting a 4-1 record with five saves and a 2.91 ERA, often setting up for current AirHogs closer Justin Dowdy.
But the last two seasons have been plagued by injury, with Cunningham making only 15 combined appearances, including 11 for the AirHogs last year.
The 2011 American Association Champion Grand Prairie AirHogs begin the defense of their title on Thursday, May 17, against the Laredo Lemurs at 7:30 p.m. The 2012 home opener is Monday, May 21, at 7:05 p.m. against the El Paso Diablos. Check back at the team’s official Web site www.airhogsbaseball.com for any other off-season news as develops. For information on 2012 tickets, promotions, advertising, and other opportunities with the AirHogs, check out the Web site as well, or call the QuikTrip Park office at (972) 504-9383.