June 6, 2008
Catawba Has Three Players Selected in Baseball Draft
NEW YORK, NY -- History was made on Friday as three members of the Catawba College baseball team were selected in the 2008 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft. Seniors David Thomas (Winston-Salem, NC/Ledford HS) and Tim Smith (Walnut Cove, NC/S. Stokes HS) along with junior Jerry Sands (Clayton, NC/Smithfield-Selma HS) were the three selected, marking the first time in school history that Catawba had three players selected in the same draft.
Thomas was the highest draftee, selected in the 14th round by the Oakland Athletics. He was the #424 overall pick. Sands followed in the 25th round as he was the 757th player taken and was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Smith was claimed by the New York Mets in the 42nd round as the #1274 pick.
Thomas, a first team All-American and South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year in 2008, ended his career as Catawba’s all-time leader in hits (344), runs (281), stolen bases (91) and triples (14). He had a career .386 average with third-best totals of 188 RBI and 48 home runs. Thomas also made just two errors in four years and was a two-time Rawling/ABCA South Region “Gold Glove” honoree.
Sands became Catawba’s all-time home run hitter in just three seasons as he cranked out 61 four-baggers. He was also second all-time in RBI with 205 and in runs scored with 201. Sands' .752 slugging percentage is the best-ever at Catawba and has a .381 career average.
Smith is the all-time winningest pitcher in school history with 31 victories. He set a record in 2006 when he went 13-1. Overall, he finished with a 31-13 record and two saves, logging 326 innings and posting a 4.36 ERA. Smith recorded 239 strikeouts which is sixth-best all-time.
Five players from the SAC were selected over the 50 rounds of the 2008 draft. Lincoln Memorial senior outfielder, TeWayne Willis, went in the 28th round to the Chicago Cubs as the 851st player taken. Tusculum senior second baseman, Maikol Gonzales went as player #1067 in the 35th round to the Colorado Rockies.
Catawba finished 2008 with a 43-18 record and advanced to the NCAA II South Region Championship Game for the second time in three years. The Indians ranked 17th in the final Collegiate Baseball Poll.
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