BYU pitcher Justin Sterner inks deal with Miami Marlins

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune file) Brigham Young University 2019 baseball team pitchers, from left to right, Jordan Wood, Easton Walker and Justin Sterner, May 9, 2019. Sterner signed a free-agent deal with MLB's Florida Marlins on Thursday, July 31, 2020.

A second BYU baseball player has been picked up by an MLB team this summer. Pitcher Justin Sterner signed a free agent deal with the Miami Marlins on Thursday.

Sterner, a right-hander, ranks fourth all-time at BYU with a career earned run average of 2.86, the best ERA posted by a Cougar since a 2.60 ERA by Mike Tucker from 1976-78. Hailing from Laguna Niguel, Calif., Sterner also ranks ninth in career strikeouts per nine innings with a 9.21 average and a 1.31 WHIP.

As a junior this past spring, in a season shortened by the coronavirus, Sterner posted a 2.53 ERA in four starts with 24 strikeouts. Last year, in the Cougars’ West Coast Conference championship campaign, Sterner led the team in wins and strikeouts. He finished the tournament 8-3 with 71 strikeouts and a 2.92 ERA.

“I couldn’t be happier that Justin has this opportunity,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said in a news statement. “He’s been a great leader for us the past few years and the anchor of our staff. He’s done nothing but get better and better every day and I know he’ll be great at the next level.”

Sterner is the second Cougar to sign a free agent deal this summer. Fellow pitcher Jarod Lessar signed with the New York Yankees in June.