Central golf team to host fundraiser

INDEPENDENCE — The Central High School golf team is hosting the Central Scramble Golf Team Fundraiser on June 22 at the Cross Creek Golf Course for an all-day event.

A team can consist of four players. Cost is $100 per person if paid before June 22, and $125 if paid the day of the tournament.

Payment includes: 18 holes of golf, cart, lunch and a $200 value Mid-Willamette Valley Golf Card.

Shotgun goes off at 8 a.m. on June 22.

For more information, contact head golf coach Joel Everett: 503-807-1994 or jeverett@central.k12.or.us.

Four WOU baseball players selected in MLB draft

MONMOUTH — In their most successful year of the draft ever, the Western Oregon baseball team had four players selected on Wednesday in the 2019 MLB First-Year Player Draft as catcher Jared McDonald and pitchers Alex Roth, Austin Crowson and Koty Fallon were selected. McDonald was taken in the 19th round with the 584th overall pick by the Oakland Athletics, Roth went two rounds later in the 21st with the 634th overall pick to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Crowson heard his named called in the 39th round by the Philadelphia Phillies and Fallon rounded out the day with a 40th round selection by the San Diego Padres.

“This is a very exciting day for Western Oregon baseball,” said head coach Kellen Walker. “All four of these student-athletes did it right on and off the field. Having the opportunity to continue to play at the next level is a testament to the way they went about their business every day.”

The four selections in a single draft is the most ever by a Great Northwest Athletic Conference school and the first picks for Western Oregon since pitcher Brady Miller was taken in the 27th round of the 2017 draft by the Chicago Cubs.

“We all had an idea that it might happen today so my roommates and I were just hanging out and trying to stay relaxed,” said McDonald of his selection. “The Athletics had been out to see me a couple of times and I had talked with their area scout. They hadn’t talked to me as seriously as some of the other organizations so it was kind of a shock that they were the ones to pull the trigger before anyone else did.”

McDonald was named an ABCA/Rawlings, NCBWA and D2CCA All-West Region honoree this year. He also completed his senior season with a Google Cloud DII Academic All-District distinction to go along with his playing honors, finishing 4th in the conference in slugging (.611) and runs (46), 5th in home runs (9) and 6th in the GNAC in hits (54).

“This is the biggest blessing of my life,” added McDonald. “It happened out of the blue so everything has hit me at once. All the things I have worked for and done over the course of my baseball career have paid off.”

Alex Roth was the only player of the four not watching or listening to the draft at their computer when he was selected. A suspicious buzzing in his pocket gave it away.

“I was actually in class when I found out,” said Roth. “I started getting a ton of texts and I had an idea what it was about so I figured it’d be best to step out of class for that. I sat outside for about 15 minutes trying to gather myself and went in for the end of class to get my stuff.”

Roth, a two-time GNAC Pitcher of the Year, led the league with a 2.35 earned-run average and finished with a 7-0 record in 2019. He also led the league with 12.77 strikeouts per game.

“I’m feeling overwhelmed, but of course happy and excited to be moving on with baseball,” said the junior pitcher. “Even though the season didn’t end how we wanted, we knew we had a special group of guys. I don’t think any of us are really surprised that we had this kind of success in the draft.”

The junior dominated hitters this season and finished an impressive 1.61 points better than any other qualified pitcher in the GNAC in ERA. He tied a conference record and set the program mark with 15 strikeouts in a single appearance on March 30 of this year.

For Austin Crowson, he’s been through this all before. The left-hander was taken in the 2017 draft by the New York Yankees in the 26th round, but opted to continue his collegiate career.

“It hasn’t even registered yet,” said Crowson of his second selection. “Here and there I had a few talks with scouts, but I didn’t really know what was going to happen. It was a big surprise.”

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