Francis Marion Duo to Join SwampDogs

The SwampDogs announced their first signings for 2013. Francis Marion University’s Jeffrey Stoner will be returning for a second season at “The Swamp” and will be joined by his fellow Patriot Chris Harrison to the 2013 squad. Both right-handed pitchers will make an immediate impact on the mound in the Coastal Plain League with the Dogs.

Stoner’s first season with the Dogs ended early due to an arm injury. He threw 27 innings in four games in 2012, earning a 2-0 record with 28 strikeouts while allowing only six free passes. The FMU junior is picking up right where he left off with a 1-0 record in three appearances. So far he has been on the hill for 16 innings throwing 21 strikeouts and only walking one. On the bump in 2012 with the Patriots, Stoner appeared in 22 games, second most on the team, with eight starts. He earned a 6-4 record with a 3.64 ERA. His nine saves in 2012 led the team as he fanned 88 batters in 83 innings with only 24 free passes given. He boasted a perfect 9-0 record in 2011, alongside a brilliant 2.40 ERA. As a sophomore Stoner made 11 starts in 15 appearances for the FMU Patriots, and was second on the team with 78.2 innings pitched. The 6’4”, 230 lb. Martinez, GA native went to Lakeside High School and is majoring in business at FMU.

Stoner has been named to the initial watch list for the fourth-annual Tino Martinez Division II Player of the Year Award. The list includes 150 top amateur athletes from across the nation. The award is presented to the most outstanding player in Division II baseball and is named after the former University of Tampa Spartan, United States Olympian, first-round draft pick and Major League Baseball All-Star Tino Martinez.

Harrison, a sophomore, joined the Patriots this year as a transfer from Coastal Carolina University. The 6’, 185 lb. native of Lexington, SC has seen action in two games with one start this season. He’s earned a 1-0 record in seven innings with five strikeouts. As a true freshman with Coastal Carolina, Harrison threw six innings with six strikeouts earning a 1.35 ERA.

“We are truly excited about having Jeffrey back for another summer. He really competes on the mound and is a leader in the clubhouse,” said SwampDogs head coach Darrell Handelsman. “Chris is another quality arm from FMU. He can pitch in a variety of roles and will add depth to our staff. We expect them both to play a major role on our pitching staff this summer.”

The Fayetteville SwampDogs are a proud member of the Coastal Plain League, entering their 13th season in the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 17th season in 2013, the CPL features 14 teams playing in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL gives college players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts. Furthermore, the CPL has had over 1,000 alumni drafted and 55 alums – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut thus far. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com, and be sure to friend us on Facebook (at www.facebook.com/coastalplainleague) and follow us via Twitter (as cpleague).