Baseball | Friday, March 21, 2014
Willamette Alum Mitch Rowan Signs with Can-Am League's Rockland Boulders
Becomes First Bearcat to Sign Pro Baseball Contract Since 2001
SALEM, ORE. -- Former Willamette University baseball player Mitch Rowan ('12) has signed a contract to play with the Rockland Boulders of the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball, also known as the Can-Am League. The league announced the contract on March 5.
The Boulders play in Pomona, N.Y., approximately 40 miles north of New York City. The franchise is entering its third year in the Can-Am League, an independent minor league not affiliated with Major League Baseball.
Rowan is the first Willamette baseball player to sign a professional contract since Bearcat Hall of Fame member Nik Lubisich ('01), who played in the Chicago White Sox organization from 2001-07.
"Mitch was a phenomenal player at Willamette, maybe one of the best in the last 20 years," head coach Aaron Swick said. "He worked extremely hard each and every day, and I am thrilled he has gotten the opportunity to continue his baseball career."
Rowan achieved a .356 career batting average as a Bearcat, including a career-high of .403 in 2010. He contributed 144 hits in 404 at bats. He also scored 103 runs and produced 123 RBIs.
He finished his career ranked fourth all-time at WU in batting average and was third with 27 career home runs. He also ranked fifth in RBIs and tied for seventh with 32 doubles. He was successful on 26 of 28 stolen base attempts.
Primarily a right-fielder, Rowan also was solid on defense. He attained 167 career putouts to go along with three assists and a .983 overall fielding percentage.
In 2012, Rowan was chosen Second Team All-West Region by both the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and D3baseball.com after leading the Bearcats in nearly every offensive category.
That year, he achieved a .342 batting average, 10 home runs, 34 runs scored, 40 RBIs, a .719 slugging percentage, a .503 on-base percentage, 11 doubles, 22 extra-base hits, 36 walks and three sacrifice flies.
In the Northwest Conference, he ranked first in walks, second in home runs and slugging percentage, and fourth in RBIs. At the national level, he ranked fifth in the final NCAA Division III statistics in walks per game (36 in 35 games, 1.03 avg.), 10th in home runs per game (10, 0.29 avg.), 17th in slugging percentage, 38th in RBIs per game (40, 1.14 avg.) and 41st in on-base percentage.
He also recorded a 1.000 fielding percentage with 64 putouts, two assists and no errors.
It was the second time Rowan had received All-West Region honors. He was previously named First Team All-West Region by the ABCA and D3baseball.com in 2010. He was a First Team All-Northwest Conference selection in 2010 and was chosen Second Team All-NWC in 2012.
Rowan graduated from Willamette in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Exercise Science. In 2013, he competed for NCAA Division I member University of San Francisco, using a medical hardship waiver he received after missing all but seven games at WU in 2011 due to a broken hand.