University of Evansville junior Kyle Freeland was selected by the Colorado Rockies with the eighth overall pick in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft Thursday evening, becoming the third player in program history to be selected in the first round, joining Andy Benes (1988) and Steve Obenchain (2002).
Freeland, who was a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award and selected to the Louisville Slugger All-America Third Team, posted a 10-2 record and 1.90 ERA this season en route to earning Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year honors. The Denver, Colo., native also racked up 128 strikeouts, a mark that ranks second in school history, against just 13 walks and limited opponents to a .214 batting average.
Over his three-year career, Freeland accumulated a 3.55 ERA and 282 strikeouts to rank second and fourth on Evansville's all-time lists, respectively. The junior left-hander struck out a career-high 15 batters on two occasions this season, which came in back-to-back starts against Charlotte (April 4) and Wichita State (April 11).
Freeland is the fifth player that has been drafted in current head coach Wes Carroll's six-year tenure. In addition, Freeland's eighth overall selection is second in UE history behind only Benes, who was taken with the first overall pick in the 1988 draft.