UTA Baseball alumnus Hunter Pence signs with Texas Rangers

Alumnus Hunter Pence attends the opening speech at the UTA First Pitch Banquet on Jan. 26, 2013, at Globe Life Park. Pence has signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers.

UTA alumnus Hunter Pence made his debut with the Texas Rangers on Thursday for Opening Day.

Pence and the Rangers agreed to a minor league contract on Feb. 7, but a strong Spring Training in which Pence hit .315 with three home runs won him a spot on the big league roster.

The outfielder and Fort Worth native shined for the UTA baseball team from 2003 to 2004. In 2004, he posted one of the best offensive seasons in program history and was named Southland Conference Player of the Year.

Pence has had a noteworthy Major League career spanning 12 seasons with the Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants and now the Texas Rangers. He's been named an All-star three times and was a major contributor for two of the Giants' championship-winning teams.

Now 35, Pence will primarily serve as a right-handed bat for the Rangers. He'll start at designated hitter and bat fifth in the opener.

Pence went 1-4 at the plate, scoring one run in the Rangers’ 12-4 loss against the Chicago Cubs. He scored off of a Nomar Mazara home run to right field.

The Rangers continue their series against the Cubs at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

@coylio33

sports-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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