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TYLER, June 7, 2017 – UT Tyler pitcher Cody Brown has signed a professional baseball contract with the Utica Unicorns after going 10-3 with 90 strikeouts as a senior for the Patriots.
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime and it is what I have been striving for my whole life,” Brown said. “Playing at UT Tyler gave me the chance to mature and grow as a baseball player and helped me to become the best player I could be. Being surrounded by the players and coaches at Tyler helped prepare me for this opportunity.”
A right-hander from Fulshear, Brown earned three of his 10 victories in the postseason for the Patriots in 2017 and posted an impressive 2.79 ERA in 84 innings of work. He was named to the American Southwest Conference First-Team and earned all-region honors from the ABCA and D3Baseball.com. His 90 strikeouts are the fifth most in a season at UT Tyler and his 10 wins are the second most for the program.
Utica (Michigan) competes in the United Shore Professional Baseball League and is coached by former Major League Baseball player and manager, Jim Essian. The USPBL is an independent league which was started in 2016 in the Detroit metropolitan area and has already had 14 players sign contracts with MLB organizations.
“I couldn’t be more proud of Cody,” UT Tyler head coach Brent Porche said. “I’m so excited for him to have the chance to continue his baseball career. We want to provide all of our guys with the opportunity to be their best selves and achieve their dreams. For someone like Cody who possesses the talent it takes to play at the next level, helping them get there is a part of that equation.”
Brown, who limited opponents to a .242 batting average in 17 appearances, was a four-time ASC Pitcher of the Week selection after posting dominant performances week-after-week for the Patriots. He earned his first win of the season against Trinity by striking out eight in 5 1/3 innings of work and would then strike out 11 needing only 91 pitches in a complete-game win at Belhaven. He would once again have a season-best 11 strikeouts in a win over McMurry and followed with a complete-game win over East Texas Baptist where he struck out eight and scattered five hits. In the postseason, Brown earned relief-appearance wins over Concordia and two against ETBU in the ASC tournament. His final start of his UT Tyler career was a no-decision against Rhodes College where he struck out eight in 6 2/3 innings of work.
Brown began his collegiate career by helping Tyler Junior College to a pair of NJCAA and then pitched one season at Sam Houston State before transferring to UT Tyler for his senior season. His 9.64 strikeouts per 9-inning game ranked ninth all-time in program history and his 90 strikeouts are the 11th most despite only one season on the mound for the Patriots. Brown has reported to Utica and officially signed his contract on Monday.
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