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EDINBURG (UTRGV) – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) baseball team learned on Friday that right-handed pitcher Ryan Jackson, who recently completed his collegiate career, has signed a professional contract with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Jackson is expected to join the Gulf Coast League (GCL) Rays in time for Monday’s season opener against the GCL Red Sox. The season runs through Aug. 31.

This past season, Jackson earned All-WAC First Team honors by going 5-4 with eight saves and 1.74 ERA. In 28 games (one start), Jackson pitched 46.2 innings, striking out 61 while walking just 13 and holding opponents to a .251 batting average. The eight saves are the third-highest single-season total in program history. He ranked 78th in the NCAA and third in the WAC in pitching appearances and 80th in the NCAA and first in the WAC in saves (8).

Jackson was untouchable during WAC play, posting a 4-1 record, three saves and a 1.07 ERA. In 25.1 innings, the highest total among relievers on the team, Jackson struck out 33 while holding opponents to a .229 batting average. He led the WAC pitching appearances (15) and games finished (12) while ranking second in saves and tied for seventh in batters struck out looking (11).

During his four-year playing career, Jackson made 89 appearances, the 26th-highest total among active student-athletes in the NCAA. He ranked second among active WAC student-athletes with 15 saves and third in innings pitched with 214.

Jackson is the third player from the 2019 roster to sign a professional contract this month, along with second baseman Anthony Gomez, who was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 34th round of the MLB Draft before signing on June 13, and right right-handed pitcher Conner Dotson, who signed with the Cleburne Railroaders of the American Association on June 16.

Three other alumni are currently playing professionally, including outfielder Logan Landon (2014-15), who is with the AAA Oklahoma City Dodgers on Sunday, right-handed pitcher Dusten Knight (2012-13), who is currently playing with Diablos Rojols del Mexico, and infielder/pitcher Roger Bernal (2009-12), who is with Bravos de Leon.


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