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Miners starter Rowland signed by Texas Rangers

  • Robby Rowland throws a pitch on opening night.

    Robby Rowland throws a pitch on opening night.
    Justin Walker Photo

  • Justin Walker Photo

  • Justin Walker Photo

  • Justin Walker Photo

updated: 6/18/2018 4:04 AM

MARION -- The Southern Illinois Miners announced Friday that pitcher Robby Rowland has been picked up by the Texas Rangers, making him the 52nd player in franchise history to join a major league organization and second this season after Williams Perez joined the Seattle Mariners earlier this month.

Rowland came to Southern Illinois in a trade from the Lincoln SaltDogs in the American Association in August of last season. This year, he was the Miners' opening night starter, and went 4-2 in six starts with a 2.31 ERA, 29 strikeouts and five walks in 39 innings pitched.

In the process, he became the first Miners pitcher in history to win his first four starts of a season, and threw a complete-game, seven-inning, three-hit shutout on May 23 against the Washington Wild Things.

In addition, he is the second Miners player to be signed by the Rangers organization, joining Tanner Roark, who was picked up in 2008, and currently pitches in the starting rotation for the Washington Nationals in the major leagues.

"Robby is one of the hardest-working players that has ever worn a Miners uniform, so this could not be more deserved," Miners manager Mike Pinto said. "We will miss Robby in so many ways -- certainly for his performance, but just as importantly for the example he set for younger players with his preparation.

"Personally, he found a way to make me laugh every single day, and I will miss his pure love of all the people around him. I can't wait to see his career flourish to the highest level again."