SECAUCUS, N.J. – The Sacramento State baseball program had three players drafted on the third day of the 2016 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft on Saturday.
Senior right-handed pitcher Tyler Beardsley was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 16th round (pick 483), junior left-handed pitcher Sam Long went in the 18th round (pick 540) to the Tampa Bay Rays, and junior catcher Gunner Pollman was picked by the Miami Marlins in the 26th round (pick 773).
The Hornets had multiple MLB Draft picks for the fifth consecutive season. The program had two picks in the first 20 rounds for the second time in the last four years and has had at least one pitcher drafted in five straight seasons with seven total drafted pitchers in that time.
The Twins took a Hornet pitcher for the second time in the last four years after drafting Tanner Mendonca in 2013. Beardsley became the third Hornet reliever to be drafted in the last three seasons after Alex Palsha in 2014 and Sutter McLoughlin last year.
In his first season assuming the Sacramento State closer role, Beardsley ranked among the top relief pitchers in NCAA Div. I in 2016 as he was named to the midseason watch list for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year award. He ranked second in the WAC and tied for 35th in Div. I with 11 saves this season, tied for the second highest save total in a season in program history.
Beardsley also picked up four wins and had a team-leading 1.71 ERA, allowing just nine earned runs in 47.1 innings pitched. He totaled 24 strikeouts to just 16 walks and had a .229 opposing batting average and a 1.10 WHIP. He had a 0.28 ERA with only one earned run allowed in his first 32.0 innings pitched of the season and did not allow a run through his first 15.0 innings pitched in WAC play.
Long joins the Tampa Bay Rays after the organization signed former Hornet pitcher Ty Nichols as a free agent last season. Long was a Freshman All-American in his first collegiate season and racked up 19 wins in three years at Sacramento State, tied for the sixth most career wins in program history. He is also sixth in program history with 181 career strikeouts and fourth with 270.1 innings pitched.
Long had a 3.26 ERA over three seasons and earned Preseason all-WAC honors entering both his sophomore and junior seasons. Long was 8-2 with a 3.03 ERA as a freshman and was 6-4 with a 2.81 ERA as a sophomore, averaging better than six strikeouts per game in his career.
He led the WAC and ranked 13th in all of NCAA Div. I with a 0.85 WHIP as a junior, helping the Hornets set single season program records for ERA and opposing batting average.
Pollman is the first Hornet catcher drafted since Derrick Chung was picked by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012. In the last two seasons Pollman ranked among the national leaders with 57 runners caught stealing, easily leading the WAC in both seasons.
He cut down 30 runners in 2016, 13 more than any other WAC catcher, and had 27 caught stealings in 2015, nine more than the next closest WAC catcher. Pollman was named to the watch list for the Johnny Bench Award, presented annually to the top catcher in Div. I, in both his sophomore and junior seasons.
Pollman was the primary catcher for the 2015 Hornet pitching staff that broke program records with a 2.97 season ERA and a .235 opposing batting average. He started 53 games and played in 57 of the 58 total Hornet games in 2016 and also contributed offensively, tallying 10 multi-hit games with three 3-hit games and three multi-RBI games.
Pollman ranked third on the team in doubles in each of the last two seasons, tallying 21 doubles and hitting four home runs with 32 career RBIs. In 124 games as a Hornet he committed just eight errors while saving countless numbers of potential wild pitches.