Chad Bell’s collegiate baseball career is finished.
The former South-Doyle High School and Walters State standout signed Thursday night with the Texas Rangers, ending two months of suspense on whether the left-handed pitcher would turn pro or continue his college career with Tennessee.
Bell flew from Massachusetts to Arlington, Texas, on Thursday morning, according to a Walters State release.
“We were in the championship series in the Cape Cod League, and after we were eliminated, I was on a plane flying to Texas the next day,” Bell said in the release. “This was something I waited over a month and a half to see if it would happen, and it’s a relief to get it done.”
Had Bell not turned pro, he would have taken Tennessee’s scholarship offer and continued his college career with the Vols after spending two years at Walters State.
Bell reports to the Rangers’ fall instructional camp in Surprise, Ariz., in three weeks. He was selected in the 14th round.
Had Bell opted for Tennessee, he would have started fall semester classes next Wednesday.
UT coach Todd Raleigh did not immediately return calls seeking comment Thursday night.
Bell finished the Cape Cod League with a 1.51 ERA. He allowed 13 runs, nine earned, in 53 2/3 innings and pitched a no-hitter.
“It was a long summer, but it was also one of the most rewarding summers that I’ve ever had on the baseball field,” Bell said. “The Rangers had been up here to watch me pitch just about every time I threw, and I couldn’t have asked for a better time to have my best season.”