Francis Marion University senior right-handed relief pitcher Jeffrey Stoner has signed a professional contract with the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.
Stoner signed on Sunday and was in uniform for the squad’s home opener on Monday. The Martinez, Georgia, native threw two scoreless innings, allowing one hit with two strikeouts in the Goldeyes’ 6-5 loss to the Sioux City Explorers before a near sellout crowd of 7,155.
The Goldeyes, currently 7-4, are managed by Rick Forney.
The American Association has been home to several former Patriots over the past 15 years, including reliever Patrick Mincey, who is a current member of the Wichita Wingnuts. Former FMU reliever Brandon Forshee signed with Winnipeg in 2010.
FMU currently has six former players in professional baseball.
This past season at Francis Marion, Stoner earned All-Region and All-Conference accolades after posting a 2-3 record with seven saves and a team-leading 1.85 earned run average. He made 18 appearances with all but one of those in relief. Opponents batted only .199 against him, and he registered 44 strikeouts against only 14 walks in 39 innings pitched. Five of his saves were outings of more than two innings, and he compiled a WHIP of 1.15.
A four-year letterman, he holds the Patriot career record for pitching appearances (72), and had a career mark of 21-10 with 19 saves and a 3.00 ERA. He ranks second all-time at FMU in career saves and fourth in strikeouts with 260.
Francis Marion finished its 2014 season with a 28-22 record following a first-round loss in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament.