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Former Zephyrhills standout Chris Fern signs with Virginia

Chris Fern, who is the all-time leader in saves at St. Johns River State College, has signed a National Letter of Intent with the University of Virginia.

Following his prep career at Zephyrhills, Fern spent two seasons as the closer at St. Johns River, compiling a school-best 17 saves. He also holds the single-season record at St. Johns River for saves in a season with nine, which he set this spring in his sophomore season.

For his career, Fern went 7-3 with a 2.70 ERA. He was a first team All-Mid-Florida Conference selection as a sophomore and second team pick as a freshman. He was named the Mid-Florida Conference Fireman of the Year in 2011 by the conference's head coaches and the FCCAA Fireman of the Year by the FCCAA Baseball Coaches Association.

"This is a great opportunity for me. The University of Virginia is the perfect place for me to continue my baseball career and complete my education," Fern said in a press release. "The strength of their baseball program and their academic tradition was the deciding factor. This is really the best of both worlds for me. I'm going to play baseball for the number one ranked baseball team in the nation and will get a degree from the number one ranked public institution in the nation."

The Cavaliers (45-6) are a unanimous No. 1 in the major national rankings currently.