Fri, Feb 12, 2016


Trio of Blue Raiders, Former Riverdale Player Drafted

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A pair of Middle Tennessee players were selected on the final day of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft. Junior RHP Matt Blackham was picked in the 29th round (865th overall) by the New York Mets, while senior Trent Miller was drafted in the 40th round (1,194th overall) by the Toronto Blue Jays.

Blackham and Miller joined left-hander Zac Curtis as three Blue Raiders chosen in the 2014 MLB Draft. Curtis was a sixth round selection by the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday.

Brady Puckett, who graduated last month, joined a trio of MTSU baseball players selected in the MLB Draft. Puckett was selected in the 33rd round by the New York Mets. He's a Lipscomb signee.

"It's great for Middle Tennessee to have three guys drafted in the MLB Draft," said head coach Jim McGuire. "They are very deserving of the opportunity to play baseball at the professional level."

Blackham posted a 1-2 record with a 4.83 ERA. The reliever did not allow a hit or run and struck out nine batters in the final 6.2 innings pitched. Blackham picked up his first collegiate save with a bases-loaded situation strikeout against Old Dominion in the opening game of the Conference USA Championship.

For the year, Blackham led all Blue Raider relievers with 49 strikeouts and held opponents to a .239 batting average. He is currently playing summer league baseball with the Brazos Valley Bombers of the Texas Collegiate League. In his last outing versus Acadiana, Blackham picked up a win with only one hit allowed and seven strikeouts in six innings of work.

"The Mets have seen the potential that Matt has," said McGuire. "He has a tough decision to make over the next few weeks. We would love to have him back at MT next year, but I understand his situation. He must make the best decision for him and his family."

The junior has until July 15 to reach an agreement with the Mets or return to the Blue Raiders for his senior season.

Miller led the Blue Raiders in seven different offensive categories, which included a .339 batting average. His 25 doubles led Conference USA and were third nationally. The first baseman finished second in C-USA in total bases (120), third in hits (78) and fourth in runs-batted-in (45).

The Kansas City native completed his career as the Raiders' all-time doubles leader (67) and ranked in the top-10 in career putouts (6th), total bases (7th), RBIs (7th) and hits (8th). Miller was a 2014 Louisville Slugger Third Team All-American and a First Team All-Conference USA selection.

"Trent had a great senior year," said McGuire. "We were hoping he would be drafted. He deserved this opportunity to play at the next level."

Once signed, Miller will more than likely report to rookie or Short Season A ball later this summer.

Blue Raiders selected in the 2014 MLB Draft

6th Round - 180th overall: Zac Curtis (Arizona Diamondbacks)
29th Round - 865th overall: Matt Blackham (New York Mets)
40th Round - 1,194th overall: Trent Miller (Toronto Blue Jays)




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baseball, Brady Puckett, draft, Matt Blackham, Middle Tennessee, MTSU, Murfreesboro news, Trent Miller, WGNS, Zac Curtis
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