SIOUX CITY – The Sioux City Explorers announced that the club has signed pitchers Eric Karch and Justin Vernia to 2018 American Association contracts. The 2018 season will mark Karch’s fifth season in professional baseball and Vernia’s second season.

Karch was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 22nd round of the 2014 MLB Draft from Pepperdine University. Karch began his professional career in 2014 pitching for the Pirates’ Class A-Short Season Jamestown Jammers and spent two seasons in the Pirates organization before being signed by the Los Angeles Angels in 2016. Karch would pitch the 2016 and 2017 seasons in the Angels organization, reaching as high as Double-A last season.

Vernia signed with the Explorers late last season and tossed six innings against the Wichita Wingnuts in his first apperance. He allowed five hits and picking up his first professional win. Vernia would finish the season with the Explorers in 2017 owning a 3-2 record in six starts.

Prior to joining the Explorers, Vernia spent his first two collegiate seasons pitching for Tacoma Community College where he went a perfect 22-0, earning NWAC West Division MVP, while also being named first-team All-NWAC both seasons. The Spokane, WA native finished his collegiate career at Gonzaga University, earning WCC All-Academic Honorable Mention accolades as a senior, going 7-3 in 14 starts with a 3.11 ERA.