MYRTLE BEACH - Newberry College alumnus Josh McElwee was promoted to the high-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans by the Texas Rangers organization over the holiday weekend. This is McElwee's second stint at Myrtle Beach in the last two seasons.
A 20th round draftee in 2012, McElwee is a native of Andrews, less than 60 miles from the Pelicans' home at TicketReturn.com Field.
McElwee finished the 2012 season with the Pelicans in their playoff run and started 2013 at low-A Hickory, earning a 2-1 record with two saves and a 10.13 ERA, striking out 22 in 13.1 innings. After some time off, he looked to regain confidence and form with the short-season Spokane Indians, earning a 1-0 record with a save and a 1.93 ERA, striking out 22 in only 9.1 innings, with opposition hitting .176 against him.
McElwee then flew across the country to join the Pelicans at Winston-Salem, striking out three and allowing one earned run in 2.0 innings in a loss.
As a reliever, McElwee's appearance schedule is unpredictable, but his first 2013 home series starts this Friday, as Myrtle Beach hosts eight straight home games in nine days.
McElwee is not the only former Newberry player in the minors, as Casio Grider continues his career with the high-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes of the Los Angeles Dodgers system.
He started the season on the disabled list then had quick trips with the double-A Chattanooga Lookouts and the low-A Great Lakes Loons before settling in at Rancho Cucamonga. He started slowly and has a .197 batting average, but has hit .273 in his last 19 games.
Grider was a 14th round draft pick by the Dodgers in 2009.