HICKORY, N.C. – After spending the first three months of his professional baseball career in the Rookie Arizona League, former Virginia Commonwealth University standout Joe Van Meter has earned a promotion to the Texas Rangers' Class-A affiliate Hickory Crawdads.

Van Meter, who was selected in the 21st round by Texas in June's Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, returned from a month-long injury on July 26 and allowed just one run over a seven-game span.  Equally impressive, Van Meter collected 11 strikeouts and did not issue a single walk in seven-straight appearances after issuing a free pass in his professional debut.

The Oyster Bay, N.Y., native logged 9.2 innings over eight appearances, while manufacturing a 2.79 ERA and one save during his time with the AZL Rangers.  He struck out four of the six batters he faced in two perfect innings of relief on Aug. 8 before recording his first save after a scoreless inning on Aug. 25.

Van Meter joins a Hickory team in the midst of a nine-game road swing.  The Crawdads, who are looking to secure a spot in the South Atlantic League playoffs with a strong finish to the season, currently hold a seven-game lead over third-place Greensboro for the wild card spot.