Former Purdue North Central pitching standout Shane Prance (Portage, IN) made his professional debut last night for the Schaumburg Boomers of the independent Frontier League. He is the fifth Panther baseball player to sign a professional contract in the past six years.
Prance was excellent, holding the Rockford RiverHawks, Frontier League's top offensive squad, to just one earned run and three hits over his 6.2 innings Thursday. At one point, Prance retired nine straight batters and after he allowed a hit by Daniel Gonzalez with one out in the second inning, the 6'3" right-hander did not allow a hit over his final 5.1 innings before giving way to the ‘pen.
Prance, a second team All-Conference selection this past spring, finished 7-5 with a 2.88 ERA in 84 innings of work for PNC. He appeared in 14 games overall and started 10 while completing eight. The right-hander struck out 95 batters while walking just 20.
Prance's seven wins tied the mark for most wins in a season while his 84 innings, eight complete games and 95 strikeouts all set single season school records.
Prance was a key factor in the Panther's late season run, sweeping Trinity Christian College in their final three regular season games to qualify for the conference tournament. Prance captured 3 of his 7 wins and a save in the last 11 days of the season.
Prance looks to have success at the pro level with a 90+ mile per hour fastball, a plus slider and a promising change-up. He generates good movement on his two seam fastball with a three-quarter arm slot.
The lanky righty made remarkable progress in his career as he was 1-1 with a 8.51 ERA as a freshman, finishing with 16 strikeouts and 18 walks in 24.1 innings. As a sophomore he was 3-8 with a dismal 9.74 ERA. He struck out 52 against 33 walks in 52.1 innings.
The experience he gained his first two years began to pay off as he started to harness his ability his junior year. In 2011, Prance finished 3-5 with a 4.70 ERA, striking out 48 against 24 walks but holding opponents to a .261 average in 51.2 innings. All the mound time proved beneficial for his explosive senior season.
Prance worked out for several affiliated clubs over the past weeks and was hoping to hear his name called in the 40 round MLB draft. Once that passed he looked to hook on with an Independent team and make a name for himself.
Prance joins Steve Georgian and Steve Hudson from 2007, Chris Schultz from 2009 and Nate Bryan from 2011 as former Panthers to join the pro ranks in the last six seasons, a remarkable accomplishment for a small college program. All signed Independent contracts.
"We're excited for Shane and look forward to watching him continue to grow as a pitcher," said 8th year head coach John Weber. "His progress through the years has been steady and he made significant strides the last two years. I believe PNC was the perfect program to afford him this opportunity."