ALLENTOWN, PA – A pair of former Francis Marion University pitchers – right-hander Dylan Owen and southpaw Josh Edgin – played major roles in the Buffalo Bisons’ 5-1 win over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in AAA baseball action on Monday night (April 23).
Owen was pulled from the Bisons' bullpen and made the spot starter for the departed Jeremy Hefner, who was called up to the New York Mets’ parent squad for its Monday doubleheader with the Giants. Owen allowed one run on three hits in 4.2 innings, but his most impact stat came at the plate.
In the fifth inning with the Bisons trailing 1-0, Owen became the first Buffalo pitcher in more than 17 years to hit a home run. He pulled a 1-2 pitch over the left field fence much to the surprise of the crowd of 6,866 at Coca-Cola Park. Buffalo went on to score three times in the frame to take the lead for good.
When Edgin (1-0) entered the game with two outs in the bottom of the frame, he retired four of the five batters he faced, including three strikeouts, to earn the win. He had been called up from AA Binghamton earlier in the day to fill the roster spot vacated by Hefner.
Buffalo (10-9) has now won five of their last seven games.
In the final season of the Bisons' affiliation with the Pittsburgh Pirates, John Hope homered on August 6, 1994, in a 4-1 loss to Indianapolis. Monday’s home run was the sixth career hit for Owen, who was 0-for-10 at the plate last season for Buffalo.
Prior to his call-up on Monday, Edgin had two saves and a 1.42 earned run average in six appearances at Binghamton.
Owen, a native of Chesterfield, was selected by the Mets in the 20th round of the 2007 draft.
In his final season (2007) at Francis Marion, Owen was 10-1 with one save and a 1.14 ERA. He struck out 121 batters in 102.1 innings pitched, walked only 19.
In three seasons at FMU, he compiled a 28-8 record with two saves, a 2.15 ERA, and a Peach Belt Conference career-record 334 strikeouts in 323 innings. Owen was named the 2007 NCAA Division II national Pitcher of the Year by two different voting groups, twice earned first-team Rawlings/American Baseball Coaches Association All-America honors, and was selected as the Peach Belt’s Pitcher of the Year for both 2006 and 2007.
Edgin, a native of Three Springs, Pa., was drafted by the Mets in 2010. Earlier that year, he had posted a 6-4 record with a 4.07 ERA for the Patriots. He made 13 starts with two complete games and 65 strikeouts in 84 innings – all team highs. In his first season (2009) at FMU after transferring from Ohio State University, he posted a 4-2 mark with a 4.04 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 69 innings.
(some information from Blake Arlington of the Buffalo Bisons)