Kukura, McClain and Stagani signed by Evansville


The Evansville Otters signed outfielder John Kukura and right-handed pitchers Josh McClain and Greg Stagani.

Kukura comes to Evansville after playing college baseball for the Setters of Pace University from 2014-17.

In 166 career starts with the Setters, Kukura finished fifth on the school’s all-time hits list with 205. He also set a new program mark with 11 career triples, including a single-season record of eight in 2016.

Kukura’s junior season in 2016 also included a .341 batting average, 33 RBIs and a .536 slugging percentage.

“He came highly recommended to us last year but we just didn’t have a need at the time,” Otters manager Andy McCauley said. “Then he played really well at a Diamondbacks workout last fall so he should compete for an outfield job this spring.”

McClain played collegiately at West Chester University from 2016-17 after beginning his career at Northampton Community College (2014-15).

As a senior with the Golden Rams in 2017, McClain finished with a 2.97 ERA and 11-2 record while making 29 appearances.

His senior season at West Chester was capped by a NCAA Division II national championship and he earned the victory in the title game, going four innings in relief in a 5-2 win over the University of California-San Diego.

In his two years with West Chester, McClain pitched 101.2 innings and struck out 89 batters while only walking 42. He also finished with 18 saves.

“We had a lot of interest in Josh after a very successful career at West Chester,” McCauley said. “I was very surprised he wasn’t drafted but we are looking forward to helping him get to the next level.”

Former Otter Matt Zielinski also played at West Chester as a graduate student in 2011 before joining McCauley’s team later that summer in Evansville.

Stagani played collegiately at West Liberty University from 2014-17 and as a senior he was named to the Mountain East Conference second team as a pitcher.

In 2017, he had a 2.60 ERA for the Hilltoppers and McCauley said a former player recommended Stagani to him.

“He will be looking to compete for role in spring training,” McCauley said. “He has shown well at a number of workouts.”


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