Courtesy of Mark Mentone, Felician SID

RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Former all-conference Felician College baseball pitcher Scott VanEs of Secaucus was signed by the Somerset Patriots of the independent professional Atlantic League on Friday. VanEs was activated in time for Friday's game against the Camden Riversharks, and made his Atlantic League debut last night.

VanEs, a second-year pro, was originally signed by the Patriots out of an open tryout in mid-April. He participated in spring training with the team, but was released during final cuts last Monday. Friday marked the second game of the regular season.

"[Ex-Major League reliever] Sparky Lyle is the manager," VanEs said. "When I got cut, he told me he liked my arm but that there were just guys with more experience ahead of me. I guess during the week there were two injuries and I got a call.

VanEs, a Golden Falcon from 2005-08, is Felician's all-time leader in innings and strikeouts and is second in wins for the NCAA Division II program. He began his professional career early last summer as a member of the NYSL Capitols of the New York State League before being picked up by the Continental League's Texarkana Gunslingers. He is three weeks away from completing his bachelor's degree in business administration.

In his first game with Somerset on Friday, he pitched two scoreless innings of relief, allowing one hit and one walk with two strikeouts, at the end of a 5-0 loss.

"I've been commuting from home in Secaucus, and I've been told that I will be allowed to finish school," VanEs said. "It's been cool to get pitching tips from Sparky Lyle, and our team has a bunch of guys with major-league experience. There's two road teams in the league even closer to home than Somerset is, so if I stick here, lots of people I know will get to see me play that didn't get the chance when I was in Texas. I think I'm doing so well because I had absolutely no expectations at the tryout."