Cotter, Regas named top all-time relievers
SIOUX FALLS – Sioux Falls Pheasants fans have voted Aaron Cotter and Kris Regas to the 20th Anniversary Team in celebration of the franchise’s 20th season, the team announced on Friday.
Cotter and Regas were chosen from a group of six nominees, which included Robert Andrakin (1993-96), Ben Fleetham (2000-02), George Sherrill (2001) and Andy Wise (1994-1996).
Fans could name their top two choices on the team’s website, www.sfpheasants.com. Regas took home 72 percent of the votes cast, while 47 percent chose Cotter.
Cotter (2009-2011) joined the Canaries mid-season in 2009 and became one of the most effective closers in franchise history. He was named American Association Relief Pitcher of the Year in 2010, when he notched a league-best 25 saves and struck out more than one batter for every inning pitched. He converted his final 15 save opportunities and had 12 consecutive appearances mid-season in 2010 without allowing a run. All that helped the Pheasants to a trip to the league championship series. In 2011, the Canadian surpassed former teammate Kris Regas to become the all-time saves leader in Sioux Falls (47). Cotter went 7-3 in his Sioux Falls career with 97 strikeouts. His 96 relief appearances are second all-time.
Regas (2007-2009) is second all-time in team history with 46 saves. The first 15 came in 2007, before Regas re-wrote the record books in 2008. An integral part of the championship team, he put together one of the most successful seasons of any closer in independent baseball history. The American Association Relief Pitcher of the Year converted 30 of 31 save opportunities to set single-season league and team records. He went 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA while striking out an astonishing 72 batters in just 42 innings. At one point, the lefty reliever pitched 20-plus consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. Regas has a career team mark of 5-2 with a 1.33 ERA. He is third in team history with 95 relief appearances. He has 149 strikeouts in 108 innings pitched.
Nominees were determined by a select group of organization members and Sioux Falls media personnel who have long observed the club.
The 20th-Anniversary Team will consist of two starting pitchers, two relief pitchers, one catcher, a representative from each infield position, three outfielders and a designated hitter. In addition, fans can vote for a manager.
More nominees and voting will occur throughout the season.
The Sioux Falls Pheasants are in their 20th season of independent professional baseball. Information about season tickets and group outings is available by calling (605) 336-6060 or visiting www.sfpheasants.com.