SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Georgia Southern left-handed pitcher Sam Howard was drafted by the Colorado Rockies as the 82nd overall pick in the third round of the Major League Baseball Draft on Friday.
Howard’s selection is the first for an Eagle since 2012 and the fifth top-three round selection of the coach Rodney Hennon era. Howard joins a list of 89 other GSU players taken in the MLB Draft since 1953.
Howard finished his junior campaign with a 7-6 record and a 2.35 ERA. He was a key part of the Eagles’ weekend rotation and earned the win in relief in the Southern Conference Tournament Championship game.
Howard capped off his season with a complete game shutout of the No. 5 national seed Florida State. The junior struck out 10 batters and allowed just two hits and four walks in a 7-0 win over the nationally ranked Seminoles.
Howard allowed just four earned runs in the stretch run of May, all four coming in an 8-4 slugfest win over Western Carolina in the SoCon Tournament. Howard finished second on the team in ERA, wins, starts, innings pitched and led the squad with 94 strikeouts to just 22 walks.
The draft was expected to conclude on Saturday with the final 30 rounds.
After a 3-0 month, which included the tournament wins, Howard was named the SoCon pitcher of the month for May.