BABSON PARK, Mass.—Recent Babson College graduate Ryan Arena '18 signed an independent league contract and made his professional debut with the Santa Fe Fuego of the Pecos League late last week.
"Following the season, the coaching staff and I have been reaching out to teams in the independent league," commented Arena. "I was able to get in touch with the Santa Fe head coach, they had a spot for a position player and I jumped on a plane Friday morning to join the club."
Arena came off the bench to walk and score a run in his professional debut on Friday night as the Feugo edged Garden City (Kan.), 20-19. Following two more appearances as a replacement on Sunday and Monday, Arena made his first start at second base on Tuesday night going 2-for-4 with an RBI single and two runs scored as the Fuego dropped its second consecutive game to the Trinidad Triggers in southern Colorado.
Arena became just the second player in program history to earn All-America honors this past spring when he was named to the D3baseball.com third team after batting a career-best .366 with 15 doubles, 11 home runs, 48 runs batted in and a program-record 54 runs scored. He also set single-season school records with 70 hits and 118 total bases, and ranked 18th in Division III in home runs while being selected as the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Player of the Year and earning all-region laurels for the season year in a row.
The Pecos League features 12 teams in three divisions stretching from southwest Kansas to the Pacific Ocean. The Fuego enter Wednesday's series finale at Trinidad with an overall mark of 10-16, good for third place in the Mountain Division.