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McLain Harris signs pro contract with the Billings Mustangs


Courtesy of Billings Mustangs

By: Michael MacEachern

Assistant Director of Athletics for Sports Communications


Young Harris College's McLain Harris has signed a professional baseball contract with the Billings Mustangs.


"I am really proud of the work that McLain has put into his development to get to this point," said YHC baseball coach Stephen Waggener. "He is more than deserving of this opportunity. His work ethic and drive to be the best he can be has put him in this position. We look forward to following his professional career."


The right-handed pitcher from Griffin, Georgia, becomes the 41st Mountain Lion in the program's history to play professional baseball. Harris, who was named to the all-region second team this season by the American Baseball Coaches Association, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and the Division II Conference Commissioners Association, appeared in 30 games (seven starts). Harris had a 2.43 earned-run average with a 10-4 won-loss record to go along with seven saves. In 100 innings pitched, Harris allowed just 88 hits, while striking out 73 and walking just nine. He has allowed opponents to hit just .233 in 2022.


Harris, who was named to the All-Peach Belt Conference first team in 2022, was first in the Peach Belt in saves and wins, third in ERA and seventh in strikeouts. Harris was first in NCAA Division II statistics in walks allowed per nine innings (0.73), third in strikeout-to-walk ratio (9.00), sixth in WHIP (0.95), ninth in appearances (30), 11th in wins (10) and 31st in saves (7). Harris, who was named the league's Pitcher of the Week once this season, finished first in the Peach Belt in saves and wins, third in ERA and seventh in strikeouts.


The 30 appearances, 10 wins, seven saves, and 100 innings pitched are all single-season program bests for the Mountain Lions, while his 2.43 ERA is second best. In the YHC NCAA-era record book, Harris is first in career wins (20), saves (25), innings pitched (291.2), and ERA (3.99), and second in strikeouts (279) and opponent batting average (.278).


The Mustangs, based out of Billings, Montana, compete in the 10-team Pioneer League, which is a MLB Partner League with teams in Montana (Billings, Flathead County, Missoula and Great Falls), Idaho (Boise and Idaho Falls), Utah (Ogden) and Colorado (Windsor, Grand Junction and Colorado Springs). The league is intended to serve as a developmental league, with no player on the active list having more than three years of prior professional baseball service. Each team is limited to a roster of 25 active players. The Mustangs, who were the MLB affiliate for the Cincinnati Reds from 1974-2019, have won 11 Pioneer League titles and had over 200 players reach the major leagues.


Young Harris, which was ranked 25th in the final Collegiate Baseball Division II Coaches Poll, ended its season with a program-best 39 victories in 2022. The Mountain Lions captured the 2022 Peach Belt Tournament title and earned its second appearance in the NCAA Division II Baseball Tournament in the past three seasons.Young Harris College's McLain Harris has signed a professional baseball contract with the Billings Mustangs.


"I am really proud of the work that McLain has put into his development to get to this point," said YHC baseball coach Stephen Waggener. "He is more than deserving of this opportunity. His work ethic and drive to be the best he can be has put him in this position. We look forward to following his professional career."


The right-handed pitcher from Griffin, Georgia, becomes the 41st Mountain Lion in the program's history to play professional baseball. Harris, who was named to the all-region second team this season by the American Baseball Coaches Association, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and the Division II Conference Commissioners Association, appeared in 30 games (seven starts). Harris had a 2.43 earned-run average with a 10-4 won-loss record to go along with seven saves. In 100 innings pitched, Harris allowed just 88 hits, while striking out 73 and walking just nine. He has allowed opponents to hit just .233 in 2022.


Harris, who was named to the All-Peach Belt Conference first team in 2022, was first in the Peach Belt in saves and wins, third in ERA and seventh in strikeouts. Harris was first in NCAA Division II statistics in walks allowed per nine innings (0.73), third in strikeout-to-walk ratio (9.00), sixth in WHIP (0.95), ninth in appearances (30), 11th in wins (10) and 31st in saves (7). Harris, who was named the league's Pitcher of the Week once this season, finished first in the Peach Belt in saves and wins, third in ERA and seventh in strikeouts.


The 30 appearances, 10 wins, seven saves, and 100 innings pitched are all single-season program bests for the Mountain Lions, while his 2.43 ERA is second best. In the YHC NCAA-era record book, Harris is first in career wins (20), saves (25), innings pitched (291.2), and ERA (3.99), and second in strikeouts (279) and opponent batting average (.278).


The Mustangs, based out of Billings, Montana, compete in the 10-team Pioneer League, which is a MLB Partner League with teams in Montana (Billings, Flathead County, Missoula and Great Falls), Idaho (Boise and Idaho Falls), Utah (Ogden) and Colorado (Windsor, Grand Junction and Colorado Springs). The league is intended to serve as a developmental league, with no player on the active list having more than three years of prior professional baseball service. Each team is limited to a roster of 25 active players. The Mustangs, who were the MLB affiliate for the Cincinnati Reds from 1974-2019, have won 11 Pioneer League titles and had over 200 players reach the major leagues.


Young Harris, which was ranked 25th in the final Collegiate Baseball Division II Coaches Poll, ended its season with a program-best 39 victories in 2022. The Mountain Lions captured the 2022 Peach Belt Tournament title and earned its second appearance in the NCAA Division II Baseball Tournament in the past three seasons.

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