Gamecocks Set Program Record with 10 Selections in the MLB Draft
The University of South Carolina baseball team set a program record as the Gamecocks had 10 players picked in the 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft, which concluded Wednesday afternoon (June 6). Carolina had six players picked on day three. Graham Lawson was selected in the 12th round by Washington with LT Tolbert picked in the 13th round by Arizona. Ridge Chapman also was picked by Washington in the 17th round. Jonah Bride (Oakland) and Hunter Taylor (Chicago Cubs) were both picked in the 23rd round while Eddy Demurias was selected in the 27th round by Cincinnati. The old record was eight, set in both 2001 and 2002.
Lawson is 1-1 with a 4.83 ERA and three saves in 20 appearances for the Gamecocks. The righthanded pitcher has struck out 24 while walking just eight and has held opponents to a .217 batting average. He picked up the save in the Greenville Regional game against Ohio State on June 1, striking out a batter in two innings of work. He earned a win at Vanderbilt (April 29) striking out three batters in two innings and had a save in an SEC win at Texas A&M (May 18), striking out three in four innings of relief.
Tolbert is hitting .322 with 10 doubles, four triples, six home runs and a team-best 51 RBI in 60 games for Carolina this season. Tolbert has a .401 on-base percentage and a .476 slugging percentage and was named to both the SEC and Greenville Regional All-Tournament teams. He drove in five runs and had four hits in the SEC Tournament game against Arkansas and had a pair of hits in Carolina’s 4-2 win over East Carolina on June 2.
Chapman has made 15 appearances for the Gamecocks this season, striking out 33 batters in 36.1 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting just .189 off Chapman, as the junior has allowed just 23 base hits. He struck out four in 2.2 innings of relief at Vanderbilt (April 28) while he went two innings against Ole Miss (May 4), striking out three batters. Chapman struck out a batter in two-thirds of an inning in the Greenville Regional contest against East Carolina (June 2).
Bride is hitting .307 with 12 doubles, four home runs and 31 RBI in 60 games for the Gamecocks this season. He has reached base in 54 of Carolina’s 60 games this season and has a .423 on-base percentage. The senior has just three errors in the infield this season, giving him a .981 fielding percentage. Bride has walked 31 times and has been hit by 14 pitches. He had a two-run home run in the Greenville Regional championship game against UNC Wilmington (June 4).
Taylor is hitting .266 with nine doubles, eight home runs and 32 RBI in 47 games this season for Carolina. The senior catcher has thrown out 21 runners trying to steal this year and has picked off two more runners. He had five RBI in wins over Winthrop (Feb. 21) and Kentucky (April 7) and drove in a pair of runs in the Greenville Regional championship game against UNC Wilmington (June 4).
Demurias is a perfect 7-0 with a 4.19 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 62.1 innings for the Gamecocks this year. He leads Carolina with 29 appearances and also has three saves this season. He picked up the win in the Greenville Regional opener against Ohio State (June 1) and struck out five in three innings of relief in the regional championship win over UNC Wilmington (June 4). Demurias earned a win against Clemson on March 2, striking out a pair in 1.2 innings pitched and had four punchouts in a win over LSU (April 22) in four innings of relief.
Four more Gamecock signees were picked on day three as Blaze Alexander (11th round) went to Arizona, Josiah Sightler (12th round) was picked by Cincinnati, Brady Allen (39th round) was selected by the New York Yankees and Wes Clarke (40th round) was picked by Milwaukee.
Carolina heads to Fayetteville, Ark., for a Super Regional matchup against No. 5 Arkansas. The best-of-three series begins Saturday, June 9 at 5:30 p.m. CDT (6:30 p.m. EDT) and will be televised on ESPN2.
SOUTH CAROLINA SELECTIONS IN THE MLB DRAFT
Round (Pick) Name Team
2 (55) Owen White* Texas Rangers
3 (83) Carlos Cortes New York Mets
4 (110) Adam Hill New York Mets
5 (150) Taj Bradley* Tampa Bay Rays
7 (223) Cody Morris Cleveland Indians
10 (287) Madison Stokes Philadelphia Phillies
11 (339) Blaze Alexander* Arizona Diamondbacks
12 (349) Josiah Sightler* Cincinnati Reds
12 (371) Graham Lawson Washington Nationals
13 (399) LT Tolbert Arizona Diamondbacks
17 (521) Ridge Chapman Washington Nationals
23 (683) Jonah Bride Oakland Athletics
23 (698) Hunter Taylor Chicago Cubs
27 (799) Eddy Demurias Cincinnati Reds
39 (1177) Brady Allen* New York Yankees
40 (1205) Wes Clarke* Milwaukee Brewers
* - Signee