QUINCY, Ill. - Former Madison Cub and current Western Kentucky baseball player Ryan Thurston made his first relief appearance of the season for the Champion City Kings on Saturday and worked a scoreless eighth inning in a 6-3 loss to the Quincy Gems.

Thurston faced four batters - walking one - in a 17-pitch, 10-strike outing.

Saturday's relief appearance will be Thurston's last outing of the season for Champion City. Although there are approximately two more weeks left in the Prospect League season, Western Kentucky's coaching staff has decided to shut Thurston down to allow him to prepare for the fall when he will compete for a spot on the Hilltoppers' staff.  

Thurston's final statistics for Champion City include eight appearances - seven starts - for a combined 33 2/3 innings. He was 1-3 with a 4.28 ERA with 18 runs - 16 earned - on 37 hits and 18 walks while striking out 31.

Thurston's strikeout total is third best on the Kings. Champion City is now 19-26 on the season.

Thurston, who begins his sophomore season with WKU this fall, was one of nine Hilltoppers playing in summer leagues this year.