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3 Liberty Flames selected on final day of 2018 MLB Draft

liberty baseballThree Liberty Flames were selected during the final day of the 2018 Major League Baseball (MLB) First Year Player Draft, Wednesday.

The Cleveland Indians selected right-hander Jack DeGroat during the 11th round, the Los Angeles Dodgers took catcher Tre Todd during the 21st round and the New York Yankees selected right-hander Jackson Bertsch during the 29th round.

Yesterday, outfielder D.J. Artis became the first Flame to be selected in this year’s draft, when he was picked by the Chicago Cubs in the seventh round of the 2018 Draft.

With the selection of trio of Flames this afternoon, Liberty has now had 68 players taken in the MLB Draft during the 45-year history of its program and had at least one player chosen in each draft since 2000.

DeGroat, who sat out 2018 due to injury, was picked by Cleveland with the 433rd selection of the draft. The pitcher becomes the first player in program history to be selected by the Indians.

In his two seasons as a Flame, DeGroat posted a 5-6 record with four saves and a 3.43 ERA in 39 appearances. Used as both a starter and a reliever, the Purcellville, Va., native made 14 career starts, striking out 123 and walking 60 over 110 1/3 innings.

DeGroat earned Big South All-Tournament honors in 2016. In two games, he allowed one run on four hits over 15 innings, striking out 15. The right-hander held 2016 NCAA National Champion Coastal Carolina to one run on four hits over eight innings in the Big South title game.

This past summer, DeGroat was named to the 2017 Cape Cod League All-Star Game as member of the Chatham Anglers.

Todd, a junior in 2018, was picked by Los Angeles with the 644th selection of the draft. He becomes the third player in program history and the first since 1998 to be chosen in the MLB Draft by the Dodgers. The team previously selected first baseman Sid Bream in the second round of the 1981 Draft and later, Bream made his Major League debut with the Dodgers in 1983. Los Angeles also picked pitcher Tim Harrell in the 20th round of the 1998 Draft.

In his first season at Liberty, Todd earned Big South All-Conference first team honors as the team’s utility player. Todd made starts in left field, at catcher and as the designated hitter for the Flames. The have listed the Deptford, N.J., native as a catcher.

Todd, who also was named a 2018 ECAC first team outfielder, led Liberty with a .315 batting average in 2018 and was among the Big South leaders in several offensive categories. The junior finished the year

second in RBI (52) and on base percentage (.479), while completing the season third in slugging percentage (.553), fourth in home runs (10), eighth in total bases (109) and ninth in runs scored (43). He also led the league in walks with 60, the second most in program history for a single season.

He led the Flames with 18 multi-hit games and 15 multi-RBI contests. He drove in three or more runs in seven games, this season.

Bertsch, a senior, posted a 6-8 record with three saves and 5.08 ERA during his two seasons in a Liberty uniform. The right-hander saw time as both a starter and a reliever, making 35 appearances with 15 starts. He struck out 134 and walked 42 over 127 2/3 innings.

This past season, Bertsch went 4-4 with three saves and a team-leading 3.94 ERA. In 75 1/3 innings, the Pleasanton, Ore., native struck out a team-high 86 and walked 25 batters. After a midseason switch to the bullpen in April, the right-hander flourished, being named Big South Reliever of the Week for April 6. In 14 appearances as a reliever, he posted a 2-2 record with a 2.21 ERA over 36 2/3 innings. He struck out 53 batters and walked nine, a 5.8 strikeout to walk ratio.

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