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UML star signed by Cardinals

By Used with permission from the Lowell Sun Online.

LOWELL Former UMass Lowell pitcher Dave Williamson has signed to play for the St. Louis Cardinals organization, which had drafted the Manchester, N.H. native in the seventh round of the Major League Baseball June Amateur Draft on June 4.

"It was just a matter of coming to a common ground," said Williamson's mother, Janet, when reached at the family's home last night. "We just wanted to make sure he got to a place where he could survive for the next couple of years."

Williamson, a 6-foot, 190-pound lefty, finished his senior season at UML with a 7-5 record, 107 strikeouts and a 3.12 ERA in 89 1/3 innings. His career blossomed at UMass Lowell after transferring from UMass Amherst, where he pitched just 4 2/3 innings over two seasons.

Williamson and the Cardinals came to an agreement at 12:30 a.m. yesterday. He signed his deal at 2:30 p.m. later in the day.

The hurler will leave for Augusta, N.J., tomorrow, where he will report to St. Louis' short-season Single A team, the New Jersey Cardinals. Williamson's new team, which plays in the New York-Penn League, will be in Lowell to play the Spinners for a three-game visit from July 31-Aug. 2.

Williamson will try to become the second UMass Lowell product to make it to the Major Leagues, following in the footsteps of another Manchester native, Mike LaValliere. Matt Tupman, another member of Jim Stone's 2002 River Hawks, has already signed a contract after being drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the ninth round of the June draft.