Sep. 20—GRAND JUNCTION, Col. — In his first season of professional baseball, former Missouri Southern standout Jordan Fitzpatrick has a ring.
Fitzpatrick played an integral part in the Grand Junction Rockies winning their first Pioneer League championship in 41 years with a 10-4 victory over the Missoula Paddleheads on Monday night.
With the victory, Grand Junction completed a two-game sweep of the defending league champions.
"This team battled all year," Bobby Jenks, Rockies manager and former MLB pitcher, said in a release. "We got off to a slow start, but after the first month, we came together. These guys gave it all they had, and it paid off in the end."
Fitzpatrick signed with the independent ball club — an organization partner of Major League Baseball — in mid-July. The Rogersville product became a key piece of the Rockies second-half resurgence, including hitting seventh and playing left field in the deciding game of the league championship series.
And Fitzpatrick even collected a pair of hits with an RBI to do his part on the offensive side.
In his first taste of pro action, Fitzpatrick proved he could hit next level pitching. He batted .346 with seven home runs, 11 doubles and 35 runs driven in through 41 games played this summer in Grand Junction.
VANWEY, STEVENSON UPDATES
Other MSSU products, Logan VanWey and Tommy Stevenson, have wrapped up their pro seasons in affiliated ball.
VanWey did not allow an earned run through eight innings of work with the Houston Astros' Florida Complex League affiliate. The 23-year old registered 16 strikeouts and had just three walks in four games (two starts).
The opposition mustered just one hit against VanWey.
Stevenson split time between the Oakland Athletics' ACL club and Low-A Stockton affiliate. He posted a slash line of .227/.286/.351 with two homers and 11 driven in over 25 games.
A catcher primarily for MSSU, Stevenson played exclusively at first base this summer. The 22-year old dealt with a leg and thumb injury that limited him to 25 games behind the plate for the Lions in 2022.