SAN DIEGO – (Jan. 19) Former Seattle University baseball standout Eric Yardley has earned invitation to Major League Spring Training by the San Diego Padres. Yardley is the first Redhawk to reach this stage.

The Padres invited 24 players, including five minor league free agents whom the Padres have signed to 2018 contracts that will be new to the organization this season. The list of non-roster invitees includes 13 right-handed pitchers, two left-handers, three catchers, four infielders and two outfielders. Of the invitees, eight of the 24 have Major League experience. Additionally, 10 of the 24 were originally drafted by the Padres.

"I am so proud of the perserverance Eric has shown with professional baseball," said Head Coach Donny Harrel. "If anyone deserves this opportunity, he does. He has worked his tail off and has always been an incredible human being. This invite was well earned."

Yardley, a Richland, Wash., native, pitched for Seattle U from 2010-13. A relief pitcher and closer during his Redhawk career, he had five saves and a 2.49 ERA as a junior, then followed with 11 saves and a 2.52 ERA as a senior in 2013. 

Yardley was signed as a free agent by the San Diego Padres in June 2013 and has remained in the organization ever since. He spent most of 2017, playing for the AA San Antonio Missions, while also making breif stints with AAA El Paso Chihuahuas. In 49 total appearances, he went 3-2 with a 2.05 ERA and six saves.