Blue Raiders’ Zac Curtis. Photo courtesy of MTSU News and Media Relations
Some of the top collegiate and high school baseball players accomplished a life-long dream during the recent 2014 Major League Baseball Draft.
Three MTSU baseball players, senior Zac Curtis, junior Matt Blackham and senior Trent Miller, were among those selected during the event. Each of them played key roles for the Blue Raiders this season as they finished fourth during the regular season in its first year of Conference USA play.
Curtis was the first one to go on June 6, as he was picked by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the sixth round.. He was the first Blue Raiders to be selected in the first 10 rounds since Bryce Brentz was selected in the opening round by the Boston Red Sox in 2009. Curtis was also the 13th MTSU player since 1976 to be picked in the first 10 rounds of the draft.
“I am one step closer to my lifelong goal,” Curtis said in a MTSU press release. “It is extremely humbling experience that I will never forget.”
MTSU head coach Jim McGuire added: “I am very excited for Curtis. It is an honor to be drafted that high. It is a big accomplishment for Curtis and this program for him to be drafted this high. He is very deserving.”
The senior left-hander finished up the 2014 as one of the best pitchers in the nation. He led the nation in strikeouts with 136, and finished the season with a 9-3 record. Curtis had a 1.89 ERA in 15 starts this season.
During the season, Curtis had five complete games, including two shutouts and a two-hitter against FIU.
He was named first-team All-C-USA, and was selected C-USA Pitcher of the Week on three separate occasions.
“It is great for MTSU to have three guys drafted in the MLB Draft,” McGuire said. “They are very deserving of the opportunity to play baseball at the professional level.”
Blackham finished the season in relief with a 1-2 record and a 4.83 ERA. He also led all MTSU relievers with 49 strikeouts and opponents hit just .239 against him.
Currently, he is playing summer league baseball with the Brazos Valley Bombers of the Texas Collegiate League.
However, Blackham has until July 15 to decide to sign with the Mets or return for his senior season with the Blue Raiders.
Miller was one of the top offensive players in C-USA this season. He had 25 doubles, which was tops in the league and third in the nation. He also batted .339 with 78 hits and 45 RBIs. He finished his MTSU career as the all-time doubles leader with 67. His performance earned him first-team All-CUSA and third-team All-American by Louisville Slugger.
“Trent had a great senior year,” McGuire said. “We were hoping he would be drafted. He deserved this opportunity to play at the next level.”