Recent graduate PJ Browne ’18 of the Merrimack College baseball program has signed a professional contract with the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the American Association, an independent professional baseball league. The Goldeyes announced the transaction on Thursday afternoon.
Browne enjoyed a career season as a senior, emerging as Merrimack’s ace to help lead the Warriors to the 2018 Northeast-10 Conference Championship and the program’s first NCAA Tournament berth in 19 years. The Rutland, Mass. native led the staff in ERA (2.21), innings pitched (85.2) and strikeouts (83). He ranked seventh in the NE10 in both ERA and strikeouts, both of which were career highs for the all-conference second teamer.
His final campaign at Merrimack was one for the record books, which saw Browne post the second most punch outs in a single year in school history. The left-hander also tossed 11 quality starts out of 12 total starts, with his lone non-quality start coming in a five-inning one-run effort in the Warriors’ season opener. Browne threw his second complete game in the NE10 Championship, which forced the winner-take-all affair against No. 8 New Haven that saw Merrimack emerge as conference champs.
The southpaw joins Ryan O’Rourke and Frank Crinella as current alumni of the program who are playing professional baseball. Both players are currently members of the Baltimore Orioles organization, with O’Rouke being the only player in program history to play in Major League Baseball. The pitcher is currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery while Crinella is a member of the Delmarva Shorebirds (Class A) of the South Atlantic League.
The American Association has produced eight current MLB players, including Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals and James Paxton of the Seattle Mariners – two pitchers who are likely 2018 MLB All-Stars. Browne started for the Goldeyes last night, relenting four runs in five innings of work.