02/25/2019 11:55 AM
CLEBURNE, Texas (Feb. 25, 2019) – The Cleburne Railroaders announced Monday the signing of right-handed pitcher Hayden Shenefield.
Shenefield has traveled an unconventional path to professional baseball. The righty enrolled at San Diego State University as a freshman, and tried out for the Aztecs team four consecutive seasons without making the squad. Shenefield still had eligibility, and transferred to nearby Grossmont College to begin his collegiate career in earnest. At Grossmont, Shenefield quickly established himself as one of the best pitchers in the Pacific Coast Conference, posting an 8-0 record along with a sparkling 1.56 ERA in 24 games. Over the course of 80.2 innings, Shenefield allowed only 53 hits, striking out 76 while issuing 24 walks.
Shenefield upped his game with a remarkable performance in the CCCAA (California Community College Athletic Association) State Championship. Over the course of three days, the 6’1, 170-pounder made two relief appearances sandwiched around a complete game shutout. In the championship final, Shenefield worked the final two innings on zero days rest to preserve a 10-6 Grossmont win and the school’s first ever CCCAA State Championship. He was selected as 2017 State Championship Finals Most Valuable Player.
The 23-year old transferred to Cal State Northridge for his senior season, and delivered another impressive campaign. In 26 games, three starts, Shenefield finished 3-2 with a 3.86 ERA, notching one save in the process. Over 32.2 innings, he allowed only 29 hits, striking out 35 while issuing only 11 walks. The native of Woodland Hills, Calif., was named to the All-Big West Conference Second Team for his efforts.
“Hayden put up really good numbers last year pitching against some of the best Division One competition in the entire country,” manager Brent Clevlen said. “He’s been both a starter and a reliever in college, but will likely be competing for one of our bullpen slots in Spring Training. With his track record of command and a high strikeout rate, he’s an arm that we’re really excited about.”
Additionally, the Railroaders have signed right-handed Edward Cruz. Cruz was acquired on December 5 from the Sussex County Miners of the Can-Am League as part of a three-team trade with the Lincoln Saltdogs. Cruz was originally a 34th round draft pick of the Miami Marlins out of Western Oklahoma State, but has spent the majority of his professional career in the Independent ranks. He made two appearances for the Gary SouthShore RailCats last season before finishing out the year with Sussex County. In 11 innings for the Miners, Cruz went 0-1 with a 2.38 ERA.
The signings give the Railroaders a total of 20 players under contract for the 2019 season. American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during Spring Training, which opens on May 4.
The 3rd season of Railroaders baseball and the club’s pursuit of its first division title kicks off with a four-game home series against the Sioux Falls Canaries, beginning on Thursday, May 16. For information on partnerships, season tickets, group outings, and party packages, call the Railroaders main office at (817) 945-8705, or visit the Railroaders official website at www.railroaderbaseball.com.