Saints Ink First Team All-Midwest Region, MIAC Pitcher of the Year, St. Thomas' Eric VeglahnST. PAUL, MN June 24, 2016
A rookie in the American Association is like panning for gold: sometimes you come up empty and other times you strike it rich. The St. Paul Saints like their odds for the latter as they signed an All-Midwest Region and the MIAC Pitcher of the Year, St. Thomas left-hander Eric Veglahn.
The top starter on the Tommies this season, Veglahn went 6-2 with a 2.42 ERA with three complete games and a shutout and three saves in 14 games (10 starts). In 67.0 innings pitched he walked just seven and struck out 70 while opponents hit just .227 against him.
During his four year career at St. Thomas Veglahn was an impressive 24-3 with a 2.56 ERA with eight complete games and five saves in 45 games (35 starts). In 221.2 innings pitched he walked just 39 and struck out 231. He was a two-time All-MIAC and two-time All-Region honoree.
His most impressive start of his career came as a sophomore when he was an All-MIAC Honorable Mention. Against defending champion Linfield, in the Division III World Series, Veglahn took a perfect game into the eighth inning after retiring the first 21 batters he faced. He would toss a complete game two-hit shutout while walking one and striking out 12. Earlier in that same season he came one out away from throwing St. Thomas’ first no-hitter in 18 years before giving up a two out triple in the seventh inning in the first game of a doubleheader against Carleton.
A graduate of La Crescent High School, Veglahn was the Winona Daily News Baseball Player of the Year as a senior when he led all Minnesota pitchers in strikeouts with 131. He also holds the Minnesota state record for strikeouts in an inning with five. His career high of 15 strikeouts at La Crescent was second most in school history behind only one person, his Dad Jerry who once struck out 18 in a game for La Crescent.
The Saints currently have 22 players on their roster, 11 pitchers and 11 position players, one shy of the league maximum of 23.