LU’s McKinley signs with Tampa Bay Rays
Staff Report – For The Record
Another Lamar University Cardinal joined the ranks of professional baseball when senior Jayson McKinley signed a free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday, joining Will Hibbs and Stijn van der Meer – who were drafted in the MLB Amateur Draft – and Enrique Oquendo.
McKinley was 3-2 in 16 appearances and 12 starts on the year. He pitched 72 1/3 innings with a 3.61 earned run average. For his four-year career, he pitched 156 1/3 innings in 49 appearances and 20 starts for a 3.28 ERA, a 9-9 record and one save.
This season alone, he fired in 54 strikeouts and only walked 14. The Friendswood native has the top strikeout-to-walk ratio and walks per nine innings on the team. Out of the bullpen, McKinley had a 1.04 ERA out of the bullpen in more than 17 innings and a 1-0 record – best on the team for Cards with 15 or more innings from the pen.
He started out the season strong with three starts, all of 5 2/3 or more, and a 1.02 ERA. His first start of the season was a scoreless six innings against Southeast Missouri State in which he allowed only four hits with no walks and six strikeouts. He followed that up with only one earned run contests against North Dakota State and Texas Rio Grande Valley.
His final three outings were in similar fashion, all five or more inning relief appearances. He closed out the year with a 1-0 record 1.10 ERA in 16.1 innings. He held Stephen F. Austin to no earned runs, twice.