Former Southern Illinois University Edwardsville baseball pitcher Spencer Patton has been added to the major league roster by the Texas Rangers.
Drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 24th round in 2011, Patton was traded to Texas in July. The right-hander becomes just the fifth former SIUE player in school history, and the first since 2009, to reach the major leagues.
Patton will join the Rangers on Thursday in time for their home series with the Seattle Mariners.
"I was told Saturday and it hasn't really sunk in yet," Patton said. "I think when I get on the plane for Arlington it will feel real."
The Kinmundy native pitched for the Cougars from 2009-2011. Patton enjoyed a standout senior season with SIUE, finishing the 2011 season 9-3 with a team-best 2.55 earned run average. His nine wins are the third most in a single season in school history.
He struck out 109 hitters to become just the fourth pitcher in school history with at least 100 strikeouts in a season. The 109 strikeouts remain the second most in a single season in SIUE history.
One of the calls Patton made when he found out was to his former pitching coach, now SIUE head coach Tony Stoecklin.
"He picked up the phone and asked if I was calling with good news," Patton said of the conversation. "I think he knew. To be successful in anything you do you have to take pieces from everywhere.
"SIUE and my coaches there are a part of that, like everywhere I have been."
In 15 appearances for Class AAA Round Rock, Patton was 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA and four saves. He began the season with Class AAA Omaha, the Royals' top affiliate, where he had a 4.08 ERA with 14 saves in 34 games and was a Triple-A All-Star.
Despite the minor league season ending Monday, Patton's call-up was delayed until Thursday as he and his wife Jiletta celebrated the birth of their first son, Bruer, Tuesday night.
Patton joins Champ Summers, Dennis Werth, Aaron Rakers, and Clay Zavada as former SIUE baseball players to join a major league organization.