TUSCON, Ariz. – Former McMurry University Baseball standout Sam Hillyer has joined the professional ranks this month, signing an independent league contract with the Tucson Saguaros of the Pecos League.

An all-region and first team all-American Southwest Conference utility player selection this season, Hillyer is listed as a pitcher on the Tucson roster. Tucson is the defending Pecos League Champion, going 26-4 last season, and has won the league championship twice in the last 10 years (2016, 2020).

Hillyer made nine pitching appearances for McMurry with a 2.60 ERA through 17.1 innings and three saves. He also started 32 games as a hitter and batted .336 with 39 hits. Hillyer alternated between first base, right field and designated hitter throughout the season and came into pitch in clutch moments.

The Pecos League runs from June 1 to August 5 and fields 22 players. There are 17 teams in the league split into two divisions – the Pacific and the Mountain Divisions. The Saguaros are in the Mountain Division, which spans five states (Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado and Kansas).

There are 23 players that have played in Major League Baseball organizations from the Pecos League, including MLB players such as Yermin Mercedes (White Sox), Eric Yardley (Brewers), Jon Edwards (Rangers/Indians), Nick Anderson (Rays) and Chris Mazza (Rays).