RALEIGH – NC State baseball pitchers Alec Barger, Michael Bienlien, Andrew Blake, Evan Justice and Jason Parker alongside outfielder Thayer Thomas were selected on the third and final day of the 2019 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft on Wednesday.
In total, the Wolfpack had a total of eight players drafted this week. In his 23rd season at the helm of the program, Elliott Avent has had a combined 113 MLB Draft picks.
This year’s eight picks are the second-most in program history in a single season, as it ties the eight drafted in 2006 and ‘17 and is just one shy the nine selected in 2008.
Additionally, #Pack9 signees Blake Walston (1stround, 26th pick), Noah Soles (19th round, 572ndpick) and Jose Torres (24th round, 733rd pick), as well as junior college transfer Andy Samuelson (12th round, 367th pick) were all drafted this week. Walston and Soles were both selected to the Arizona Diamondbacks while Samuelson and Torres went to the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers, respectively.
Jason Parker | RHP | New Bern, N.C.
16th round – 474th pick – Cincinnati Reds
Parker, who played two years at Louisburg Junior College prior to this season, led the pitching staff with 16 starts. He finished the year with a 4.38 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 76.0 innings, the second-best on the team. The North Carolina native earned four wins on the mound, and his career-best outing was when he went seven strong against then-No. 1 Florida State and struck out 10.
Alec Barger | RHP | Savoy, Ill.
17th round – 517th pick – Atlanta Braves
Barger spent two seasons at Polk State Community College before transferring to NC State for the 2019 season. He made 17 appearances, including six starts, and finished with a 2-2 record on the mound. Barger compiled a 6.14 earned-run average in 29.1 innings with 35 strikeouts, and his best outing of the season was vs. Elon on March 26 when he went a career-long 5.0 innings and fanned 10.
Andrew Blake | RHP | Lewisville, N.C.
21st round – 631st pick – Los Angeles Angels
Blake spent his first two seasons at Pitt Community College. In his junior year at NC State he picked up the win vs. Pitt after throwing 4.1 innings without allowing a run to score. His longest outing was on March 29 when he went 4.2 innings and fanned six. He finished the 2019 season with a 4.79 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 20.2 innings.
Michael Bienlien | RHP | Chesapeake, Va.
24th round – 712th pick – Detroit Tigers
Bienlien has made 19 career starts and 53 appearances in his three seasons with the Red and White. He owns a career 5.16 ERA and nine wins in 113.0 innings pitched. His career-long outing was at Notre Dame on April 2, 2017, when he tossed 7.0 innings, and additionally tallied a career-high six strikeouts on two separate occasions.
Thayer Thomas | OF | Wake Forest, N.C.
33rd round – 1007th pick – Boston Red Sox
Thomas, who also plays for the football team, made 14 game appearances in his first season, including four starts as an outfielder. At the plate he batted .222 with four hits and a .500 slugging percentage, and defensively tallied eight putouts with a 1.000 fielding percentage. His best game of the season was on March 9 vs. Pittsburgh when we went 2-for-2 with a double and home run, driving in a pair of runs while scoring two of his own.
Evan Justice | LHP | Richmond, Va.
39th round – 1161st pick – Miami Marlins
Justice led the Wolfpack’s bullpen with 29 appearances this season, coming away with four wins, and his 36 K’s were the second-most out of the pen. On Feb. 22 vs. Kent State the sophomore went a career-long 4.0 innings and fanned a career-best five. Overall, he owns a 5.60 career ERA and six wins in 45 appearances and 64.1 innings pitched.
Nick Swiney’s Gem Ranks as 3rd Best Pitching Performance in 2020
BaseballAmerica ranked the Top-25 pitching performances of the abbreviated 2020 College Baseball season, and NC State Junior Nick Swiney’s performance against Purdue back on February 29th ranked 3rd.
Swiney pitched 8 shutout innings (career high), gave up only 1 hit, and struck out 15. The 15 strikeouts were the most in a single game since Carlos Rodon in 2014 (15).
3. North Carolina State’s Nick Swiney vs. Purdue—Feb. 29
8 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 15 K
The lefthander dominated the Boilermakers on just 98 pitches as part of a great month on the mound. In all four of his starts in 2020, Swiney threw at least six innings, and he struck out at least 11 batters in three of the four. (BA)
NCAA Grants Spring Athletes an Additional Year of Eligibility
The outbreak of Covid-19 resulted in Spring sports being cut short. As a result, the NCAA has officially voted to “allow schools to provide spring-sport student-athletes an additional season of competition and an extension of their period of eligibility.” (NCAA)
In a nutshell, here’s what this looks like:
- Financial Aid rules will be adjusted for teams to have more players on scholarship, due to incoming Freshmen, and players that decide to stay.
- School’s will have the ability to use the NCAA’s Student Assistance Fund to help pay for students who use the additional eligibility.
- 5-year clock (4 seasons in a 5 year period) receives a 1-year extension.
- Increased the roster limit in Baseball to accommodate.
- While players are given another year of eligibility, they aren’t guaranteed a roster spot. They could have to use it at another school.
NC State Spring Sports
Men’s & Women’s Golf
Men’s & Women’s Tennis
Outdoor Track & Field
NC State Catcher Patrick Bailey Named Preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball
Collegiate Baseball released their 2020 College Baseball Preseason All-American teams yesterday, and NC State Junior Catcher Patrick Bailey was named to the 2nd Team.
LHP Reid Detmers, Louisville
RHP Kumar Rocker, Vanderbilt
RHP Mason Hickman, Vanderbilt
RHP Jeff Criswell, Michigan
LHP Asa Lacy, Texas A&M
Relief Holden Powell, UCLA
C Adrian Del Castillo, Miami (Fla.)
1B Tristan Peterson, New Mexico St.
1B Spencer Torkelson, Arizona St.
2B Nick Gonzales, New Mexico St.
3B Alex Binelas, Louisville
SS Austin Martin, Vanderbilt
OF Heston Kjerstad, Arkansas
OF Ethan Wilson, South Alabama
OF Chris Lanzilli, Wake Forest
DH Aaron Sabato, North Carolina
UT Alec Burleson, East Carolina
RHP Emerson Hancock, Georgia
RHP JT Ginn, Mississippi St.
RHP Brian Van Belle, Miami (Fla.)
RHP Trenton Denholm, U.C. Irvine
LHP Jake Mulholland, Oregon St.
RHP Collin Liberatore, Indiana St.
RHP Tanner Burns, Auburn
LHP Doug Nikhazy, Mississippi
LHP Hayes Heinecke, Wofford
RHP Drake Nightengale, South Alabama
LHP Seth Lonsway, Ohio St.
RHP CJ Van Eyk, Florida St.
Relief Tyler Brown, Vanderbilt
Relief Alek Jacob, Gonzaga
Relief Nick Frasso, Loyola Marymount
Relief Garrett Acton, Illinois
Relief Brett Barnett, South Dakota St.
C Patrick Bailey, N.C. State
C Austin Wells, Arizona
C Griffin Lockwood-Powell, Central Michigan
1B Bobby Seymour, Wake Forest
1B Alex Toral, Miami (Fla.)
2B Justin Foscue, Mississippi St.
2B Brian Klein, Texas Tech
3B Anthony Giachin, Army
SS Casey Martin, Arkansas
OF Garrett Mitchell, UCLA
OF Hudson Haskin, Tulane
OF Tanner Allen, Mississippi St.
UT Casey Schmitt, San Diego St.
RHP John Baker, Ball St.
RHP Cameron Brown, Central Michigan
RHP Zach Hester, Samford
RHP Kade Mechals, Grand Canyon
RHP Chance Hroch, New Mexico St.
LHP Jared Wetherbee, Elon
LHP Rodney Boone, U.C. Santa Barbara
Relief Willie Weiss, Michigan
Relief Jason Ruffcorn, Oklahoma
Relief Michael McGreevy, U.C. Santa Barbara
Relief Joe Kruszka, Albany
Relief Michael Kirian, Louisville
Relief Grant Leonard, Iowa
C Hunter Goodman, Memphis
C Alex Webb, Jacksonville St.
1B Liam Hibbits, Va. Commonwealth
1B Maxwell Costes, Maryland
1B Sonny DiChiara, Samford
1B Trevin Esquerra, Loyola Marymount
1B Cuba Bess, Grand Canyon
2B Cody Morissette, Boston College
2B Landon Stephens, Miami (Ohio)
2B Nate Fisbeck, McNeese St.
3B Tyler Keenan, Mississippi
3B Raymond Gil, Miami (Fla.)
SS Zavier Warren, Central Michigan
SS Jordan Westburg, Mississippi St.
SS Nick Loftin, Baylor
SS Tyler Wilber, S.E. Missouri St.
OF Daniel Cabrera, LSU
OF Jordan Nwogu, Michigan
OF Colton Cowser, Sam Houston St.
OF Mike Antico, St. John’s
UT Max Meyer, Minnesota (CB)
At the end of his Sophomore year, he earned 3rd Team All-American honors by Collegiate Baseball, and Freshman All-American honors the year before.
Last year, Bailey hit .288, with 68 hits, 17 doubles, 10 home runs and a .513 slugging percentage. Behind the plate, he committed just 5 errors in 476 chances for a .989 fielding percentage, throwing out 33 percent of the base runners attempting to steal.
Currently, MLB.com ranks Bailey as the #21 2020 MLB Draft prospect.
Also, congratulations are in order, because Bailey got engaged yesterday.
Forever & Always 💍🥂 pic.twitter.com/7KD1lvUNmU
— Leigha Bruce (@leighabruce_) December 19, 2019
NC State Baseball Ranks 16th in Collegiate Baseball’s 2020 Preseason Poll
Collegiate Baseball released their 2020 Preseason Poll, and NC State sits at #16.
The Wolfpack finished ranked 21st in the final Collegiate Baseball poll in 2019.
ACC Teams in the 2020 Preseason Collegiate Baseball Poll
16) NC State
17) Wake Forest