Baseball: Former Panther Eric Morell signs pro contract with Tucson Saguaros

Baseball: Former Panther Eric Morell signs pro contract with Tucson Saguaros

Former LaGrange pitcher Eric Morell has signed a pro contract with the Tucson Saquaros of the Independent Pecos League.

Morell went 8-2 in 11 starts with a 3.24 ERA for the Panthers in 2016. He was a USA South All-Conference selection last season. Morell pitched 66-2/3 innings with 54 strikeouts against only 16 walks. He did not allow a home run in two seasons pitching for the Panthers. Morell had a career record at LC of 13-7 and 3.54 ERA.

As a junior, Morell became the first Panther to throw a nine-inning no-hitter with a 2-0 win over William Peace. He was named to the D3baseball.com Team of the Week and selected as the USA South Pitcher of the Week after throwing the no-hitter.

The San Dimas, California native played in the prestigious Northwoods Collegiate Summer League for the Duluth Huskies during the summer of 2015. He pitched 60-1/3 innings with an ERA of 2.68 (0.00 in the playoffs), while striking out 55 and walking only 19.

Tucson Director of Baseball Operations J.D. Droddy talked about Morell on the team's Facebook page.

"Eric will probably be a lot like Randy Keen, who was so successful for us last year," said Droddy. "He doesn't overwhelm you with velocity. He largely pitches to contact, but he can also strike out a surprising number of batters. He has excellent command and movement, and he sets up his breaking balls with the fastball. I think he is going to be an impact pitcher in '17."