Roseburg alum Chris Stone moving on to George Fox
Roseburg High alum Chris Stone is going to continue his baseball career at George Fox University in Newberg in the fall.
“Chris is an outstanding pitcher that looks to show great potential as a premier pitcher in the Northwest Conference,” GFU pitching coach Trey Watt said. “He also has the potential to pitch at the next level. His overall pitch-ability and command of three different pitches makes him a strong pitcher at any level.”
In the meantime, the 2016 RHS graduate is going to keep trying to get Mt. Hood Community College into playoff contention. His next start will be this weekend during the Saints’ series at Southwestern Oregon Community College in Coos Bay.
“I want to play as long as I can,” said Stone, a 6-foot-2 righthander. “Trey has been talking to me and bugging me, he thinks I can be a big part of their program and hopefully we’ll win a championship.”
The Saints are three games back of fourth-place Chemeketa in the Northwest Athletic Conference Southern Region; the top four teams qualify for the playoff field.
Stone is currently 4-3 with a 3.46 ERA for the Saints (12-24, 10-16 South) and leads them in wins.
“Chris has (added) four to five mph on his fastball velocity and developed a solid change-up to complement his quality breaking pitch,” Watt said.
“I’ve been in the upper 80s, 88, 89 and I touched 90 in my last start,” Stone said. “That was cool to get over that hump. Before it was 89, 89, 89, 89, 89, so to finally get it up to 90, I’m looking to build off of that and hopefully get even faster.”
Stone will be a junior for George Fox, with two years to play for the Bruins.
Watt and the George Fox staff began following Stone during his high school career at Roseburg High. Watt has continued to watch Stone develop at Mt. Hood and lauded the hurler’s character, scholarship and athletic ability.
Stone’s time at MHCC hasn’t been all smooth. The team has struggled on the field — it went 18-25 in 2017 as Stone went 2-2 with a 3.44 ERA. He had 11 appearances and started six games, pitching one complete game.
This season, Stone has started eight games and has 40 strikeouts and 16 walks in 49 1/3 innings.
“I had some rough patches, but it’s coming together a little better now,” Stone said. “With the weather getting better, stuff is coming together.”
The move to Gresham to play ball and start his studies in engineering forced Stone to adjust his lifestyle early and he found a rhythm that worked for him.
“It was nice getting out of Roseburg and seeing something different,” he said. “The biggest change was living on my own, making meals and planning out my day, getting used to that living on your own. I think I figured that out the first term and I’ve been going pretty strong ever since.”
George Fox wasn’t the only school to show an interest in his abilities, but it was among the first and it offered Stone the opportunity to attend a ranked-engineering school.
“It’s got a good campus and good environment,” Stone said. “I was pretty excited — I got some calls from Kansas and California, a couple NAIA schools — but I think this is the place for me. None of (the other schools) had engineering, so they got taken out of the equation.”