Drew Gagnon, class of 2008, was drafted on Tuesday in the third round (100th pick) of the Major League Baseball draft by the Milwaukee Brewers.
As a junior with the Long Beach State Dirtbags, Gagnon was the team’s No. 1 starting pitcher. The righty compiled a 2.81 earned run average this season while striking out a team-high 84 batters.
A while later, 2006 alumnus Mike McCarthy was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 14th round of the draft – the 442nd pick. McCarthy, a redshirt senior pitcher for the Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners, accrued a scant 1.62 ERA and held batters to a .212 average this season.
Gagnon is one of the highest baseball draft picks to come out of the Bay Valley Athletic League since the Cincinnati Reds selected Chris Gruler from Liberty third overall in 2002.
If he signs, Gagnon will join his older brother, Ty, a 2007 Liberty grad, as a professional ballplayer. Ty was drafted in 2009 by the Colorado Rockies in the 15th round.
“I’ve been waiting basically my whole life for this and it finally happened,” Gagnon said. “It’s an honor. You can’t really ask for anything more.”
Though Gagnon has one more year of NCAA eligibility, he’ll likely sign his professional contract, noting that the scholarship is available as a backup plan.
In his senior season at Liberty, Gagnon put up a 1.58 ERA, batted .371 and drove in 17 runs.
McCarthy, also a righthanded pitcher, leaves Cal State Bakersfield as one of the school’s most decorated players. He set the school record for most strikeouts in a game – 13 on April 13 against Fresno State. McCarthy also posted a two-hitter against No. 13 UCLA a month later.
McCarthy was one of the most reliable pitchers the Roadrunners sent to the mound, lasting at least seven innings in 15 of his 16 starts this season. He made three starts over the final nine days of the season, throwing 24 innings as opponents hit just .195 in that stretch.
“I’m a bulldog,” McCarthy told the Bakersfield Californian. “That’s what the guys on the team have always described me as. I’m one of those guys that can lay it on the line every day and give them everything I’ve got.”
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