By Stephen Trembley
By Stephen Trembley
FRESNO, Calif. --- Six Fresno State baseball student-athletes - seniors Gene Escat, Taylor Garrison, Cody Kendall, Thomas Harlan, and Patrick Hutcheson, and junior Justin Haley - received the call they have been waiting for since first picking up a baseball as they each found out on this week that they had been selected during the three-day 2012 Major League Baseball Draft.
With six selections in 2012, a total of 50 players under head coach Mike Batesole's tutelage have now been chosen to continue their professional careers by way of the annual draft.
The six selections leads all Mountain West schools, which Fresno State will join on July 1, and tripled the amount of any Western Athletic Conference school.
"We are both very proud today and very concerned today," Batesole said. "We are proud that our graduating seniors and Justin Haley will have an exciting opportunity to play professional baseball - they are all now ready to go and they will all be successful. We are, however, concerned that we may lose some part of one of our best-ever recruiting classes as we had four incoming student-athletes drafted. This is always an exciting time of year."
In addition to the six Bulldogs that were drafted, four future Bulldogs that either signed National Letters of Intent or accepted admission to Fresno State for the 2012-13 school year were also selected by MLB Teams:
Derick Velazquez (15th Round, Baltimore Orioles, No. 462)
Cameron Stewart (20th Round, San Diego Padres, No. 615)
Taylor Ward (31st Round, Tampa Bay Rays, No. 962)
Brody Russell (36th Round, Pittsburgh Pirates, No. 1096)
MLB teams have until 2 p.m. PT on Friday, July 13, to sign players selected in the 2012 MLB Draft.
In 2012, Fresno State advanced to its sixth NCAA Tournament in the past seven seasons and captured its seventh straight conference championship behind clutch pitching and hitting down the stretch in which the Bulldogs fended off four elimination games before falling on day three of the 2012 NCAA Stanford Regional.
Justin Haley, RHP, Junior, Boston Red Sox, 6th Round (No. 211)
Justin Haley, a junior right-handed pitcher who earned second-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors in 2012, was drafted in the sixth round (211th overall) by the Boston Red Sox.
In 2012, Haley earned his way into the Bulldogs' starting rotation after he tossed 3.1 innings of scoreless in recording a win over then-No. 1 Stanford on March 2.
In his two years at Fresno State, Haley appeared in 31 games, including 17 starts and 125.2 innings. He posted a career 3.08 earned run average, 122 strikeouts and an 8-4 overall record.
Garrison, a native of Murrieta, Calif., earned 11 saves during his senior campaign to tie for the third most in a single season by any Bulldog closer in program history.
Garrison posted a career 2.98 earned run average in 73 appearances (121.0 innings) over the course of his four-year Fresno State career. He struck out 135 batters, including a career-best 52 as a senior.
Garrison was a part of four consecutive conferences and three NCAA Tournament appearances, in which he posted the save in the Bulldogs' 8-2 win over Michigan State during the 2012 Stanford Regional.
He was drafted in 2011 by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 27th round. He chose to stay in school to finish his degree and improve his draft stock, which led to him being picked 20 rounds higher.
|BULLDOGS IN 2012 MLB DRAFT|
|Justin Haley||6th||211th||Boston Red Sox|
|Taylor Garrison||7th||247th||New York Yankees|
|Cody Kendall||8th||276th||Texas Rangers||Thomas Harlan||13th||406th||Pittsburgh Pirates||Gene Escat||23rd||703rd||Baltimore Orioles||Patrick Hutcheson||29th||888th||Colorado Rockies|
Kendall earned WAC Pitcher of the Week honors for his gutsy effort in not allowing an earned run in seven innings of relief work to propel the 'Dogs to a crucial 12-2 victory over Louisiana Tech during the final week of the regular season.
He ended his four-year Bulldog career with a 16-8 record and posted a 5.87 ERA and a pair of saves over 199.1 innings of work. He struck out 128 batters in Fresno State uniform.
Thomas Harlan, LHP, Senior, Pittsburgh Pirates, 13th Round (No. 406)
Thomas Harlan, a senior southpaw and the anchor of the Bulldogs' starting rotation in 2012, was picked in the 13th round (406th overall) by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Harlan, a 2012 second-team All-WAC and All-WAC Tournament team honoree, recorded a 2.78 ERA as a senior to lower his career mark to 3.93. He earned WAC Pitcher of the Week twice during the regular season.
In four years in a Bulldog uniform, Harlan went 14-10 with two complete games and four saves in 90 appearances (213.0 innings) and 170 career strikeouts.
Gene Escat, RHP, Redshirt Senior, Baltimore Orioles, 23rd Round (No. 702)
Gene Escat, who was the last remaining member from the Bulldogs' 2008 College World Series national championship team, was drafted in the 23rd round (702nd overall) by the Baltimore Orioles.
He delivered a team-best 4-0 record and 1.44 ERA this past season primarily out of the bullpen in 16 appearances, including one start.
A redshirt senior right handed pitcher, Escat made 67 career appearances and worked 104.2 innings, threw 100 strikeouts and finished with a 9-2 overall record as a Bulldog.
Hutcheson earned both 2012 second-team All-WAC and 2011 Academic-All selection honors during his two seasons at Fresno State.
He posted a career batting average of .299, had 110 hits, 47 RBI, 18 doubles and 6 homeruns in 108 games played.
Hutcheson also went 21-for-26 in stolen bases attempts and drew 50 walks while playing for the Bulldogs. He also recorded the most multi-hit games by any Fresno State player in 2012.
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