Fernley Signs With Cleveland

Nate Fernley signed a free agent contract with the Cleveland Indians Tuesday night.

"I took advantage of a fifth-year senior rule that says I can sign up until a week before the draft," said Fernley, who did not disclose the terms of his contract. "I felt it was right, it was a good fit. The plus side was I got to pick the organization and I'm excited to continue playing."

Fernley reports June 12 to the Mahoning Valley Scrappers team in Niles, Ohio (north of Youngstown). He will play single A ball in the short season New York/Penn League.

"I'm really happy someone has given him an opportunity and I think he will move up quickly," said BYU Coach Vance Law. "I figured someone might pick him up like this and Cleveland is a good organization. It is wonderful they are showing confidence in Nate to continue."

At BYU this past year, the 6-3 senior from Long Beach, Calif., had a 16-3 record with a 3.12 earned run average and has been the winningest pitcher in the NCAA all season.

He earned Second Team All-America honors by Collegiate Baseball magazine, was MVP of the Mountain West Conference Tournament and First Team All-MWC. After striking out 15 batters in seven innings at the University of San Francisco and shutting out Cal-Berkeley in the same week, he was selected at the National Pitcher of the Week by Collegiate Baseball. He was selected four times as MWC Pitcher of the Week and received the Cougar Club's Crowd Pleaser Award.

He was a semifinalist for the national Dick Howser Award.

Fernley led the MWC in ERA, batters struck out (133), opposing batting average (.239), batters struck out looking (42), innings pitched (152.2), games started (20) and wins.