Trio of SLU pitchers drafted to MLB
HAMMOND, La. - A trio of Southeastern Louisiana pitchers were selected Wednesday in the 50th annual Major League Baseball Draft.
Jake Johnson, Kyle Keller and Tate Scioneaux helped lead the Lions to a record-setting season in 2015. Southeastern, which finished 42-17 overall and 25-5 in the Southland Conference, set the school record for overall wins and the Southland record for conference wins on its way to claiming the regular-season championship.
The Cincinnati Reds drafted Johnson in 16th round (475 overall). A junior right-hander from Salina, Oklahoma, he compiled a 10-2 record and 3.24 ERA in 94.1 innings pitched, fanning 89 batters. Johnson tied for the conference lead in victories and was sixth in strikeouts. He is the 10th pitcher in school history to earn double-digit wins in a single season, duplicating the feat accomplished last season by Andro ?utura.
Keller was drafted in the 18th round by the Miami Marlins (536 overall). The senior right-hander from New Orleans, Louisiana, appeared in 15 games for the Lions this season picking up a pair of wins and a pair of saves. He turned in a 2.75 ERA in 36 innings of work, primarily out of the bullpen, fanning 40 batters and limiting opponents to a .217 batting average.
The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Scioneaux in the 39th round (1,177 overall). He tossed three-consecutive shutouts to close out the regular season, eventually stretching his streak to a Lion-record 36.1 scoreless innings in a row. The junior right-hander from Reserve, Louisiana, is Southeastern's all-time leader in innings pitched (317.1). Scioneaux has the third-most wins in school history (23), needing two to tie for first, and is second all-time in strikeouts (260).
Former Lion first baseman/pitcher Tanner Rainey was selected 71st overall by Cincinnati with a compensation pick Monday at the end of the second round. The native of Folsom, Louisiana, transferred to West Alabama following his sophomore season in 2013. He posted a 4-1 record with a 1.59 earned run average and nine saves this season as UWA's closer, striking out 50 batters in 28.1 innings of work. As the everyday first baseman he hit .386 with a school-record 19 home runs, driving in 65 runners.
Kolton Kendrick of Oak Forest H.S. (Amite, Louisiana), a Southeastern signee, was selected in the eighth round Tuesday by the Minnesota Twins with the 230th overall pick. The 6-foot-3, 225 pound first baseman hit .420 with nine home runs as a senior, earning All-District honors.
Last season the Twins drafted and signed ?utura with their seventh-round selection. Outfielder Andrew Godbold joined ?utura in the 2014 daft class, signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers after he was selected in the 23rd round.