The 2019 DII baseball championship is in full swing in Cary, North Carolina. Wednesday was a thrilling day as two elimination games narrowed the field to just four teams remaining in the hunt.
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This season had a bonus attraction. With the tournament a week later than its usual Memorial Day weekend start, the 2019 MLB draft was underway while 200 student-athletes were competing for the national championship. That meant, for some of these DII baseball players, two dreams could be achieved on one field.
Imagine remembering the moment you were drafted, preparing for an elimination game just minutes away or in the middle of a rain delay while you're waiting to go back out and pitch. For UC San Diego's Jonah DiPoto, that's exactly how it happened. He was pitching when the second rain delay of the afternoon struck. By the time play resumed, he had found out his next stop of his baseball journey was heading toward Kansas City.
For Central Missouri’s Mason Janvrin, he found out Wednesday afternoon while waiting to bat deep into the Mules' elimination game against Ashland.
“Obviously it’s hard not to be thinking about that the whole game,” Janvrin said. “I tried to focus on getting ABs. I found out in the bottom of the eighth inning while I was in the hole. Coach said it. It’s just kind of all your hard work coming together in one moment.
“I think a little bit," Janvrin said about how having scout's eyes on him changed things. "Kind of taking everything carefully during pregame to make sure I was locked in. It’s a little more stressful on the field, but you get used to it and learn to deal with it and play with it and eventually it becomes natural.”
Wednesday's second elimination featured UC San Diego and Mercyhurst. Before the game, Ted Stuka, the Tritons' massive 6-7 right-hander — and bringer of the hardest fastball we've seen in Cary — was drafted by the Detroit Tigers. In the Mercyhurst dugout during the game, Tyler Garbee, who struck out 12 in the championship opener against Tampa, found out he was selected in the 19th round thanks to a friend tagging him in a tweet. His teammate Matt Minnick got the call in the fourth inning. He was a New York Yankee, which just so happened to be his favorite team growing up.
Hug watch is on. @matt_minnick of @HurstAthletics just got drafted by the #Yankees during the game. Tyler Garbee selected by the #Reds earlier was amongst the first to greet him.— Wayne Cavadi (@UofDWayne) June 5, 2019
Lakers score their first run of the game right after. #D2baseball pic.twitter.com/wDtuu3pmlI
"It's awesome," Garbee said. "I was more excited for him [Minnick] than I was for me, just because of everything he's been through. Watching him get drafted by the Yankees, it makes me so happy."
"I'm so happy for Tyler, as well," Minnick said. "Obviously he made the right decision coming over here from Pitt. It's not like it was competitive, but we were wondering who was going to go first."
Mercyhurst also won in dramatic fashion, with a Matthew Schneider home run in the eighth inning of a tied ball game to extend the Lakers' stay in Cary at least one more day.
"It's pretty cool being around our other teammates," Garbee said. "To see their excitement for us was awesome. Then kind of around the sixth inning we were all like, you know what, let's win this game. Let's not be sad about something, there's been such great things today."
Winners of two straight, Tampa was enjoying an off day on Wednesday. Sammy Peralta, Yorvis Torrealba, Keven Pimentel and Tyler Beck were really enjoying it. Peralta, after throwing one inning and striking out two Tritons to wrap up the Spartans' most recent victory, was taken by the Chicago White Sox in the 18th. “It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come this season and on top of that getting drafted, this moment is something you dream of as a kid,” Peralta said.
His teammate, Yorvis Torrealba went a few rounds later. Torrealba was struggling in the Super Regionals and then in Tampa’s first game here in Cary. His teammate Mikey Navarette bought him the Rally Chicken. “He said, ‘You know what? I’m going to buy you this chicken, you’re going to carry it everywhere, and you’re going to go off next game,’” Torrealba explained.
Since he got the chicken? He has four hits, two stolen bases, a run scored, and two RBI. Don’t let go of that chicken young Yorvis. “No better feeling than being able to celebrate getting drafted with my teammates and at the same time compete for a national championship.”
“Being drafted was a huge goal of mine," added Beck, "but being in the DII baseball championship is the main reason I chose to attend The University of Tampa. Would not want the end of my collegiate career to go any other way. Love going to battle with this great group of men day in day out. The draft is just the cherry on top to this great season we are having."
Peyton Williams' time in Cary came to an end one day too soon, to no fault of his own. He threw one final inning for Catawba on Tuesday when the Indians were eliminated on Wednesday night. "Unfortunately Peyton Williams won't be back for us next year," head coach Jim Gantt said, "but that's good for him. I told him if he wants to go, I'll drive him to the airport."
Here's the list of Division II players selected in this year's MLB draft.
DII baseball players selected in the 2019 MLB draft
(Bold players were in the 2019 DII baseball championship)
|Brenton Doyle||Shepherd||OF||Colorado Rockies||4|
|Hunter Brown||Wayne State (MI)||RHP||Houston Astros||5|
|Ethan Elliott||Lincoln Memorial||LHP||San Diego Padres||10|
|Joe Corbett||West Texas A&M||RHP||Texas Rangers||10|
|Andrew Pratt||Lubbock Christian||C||Washington Nationals||10|
|Zach Hart||Franklin Pierce||RHP||Cleveland Indians||10|
|Mitch Spence||USC Aiken||RHP||New York Yankees||10|
|Cooper Bradford||Florida Southern||RHP||Chicago White Sox||13|
|Hunter Markwardt||Oklahoma Christian||CF||Philadelphia Phillies||13|
|Micah Pries||Point Loma||OF||Cleveland Indians||13|
|Mason Janvrin||Central Missouri||CF||Baltimore Orioles||14|
|Ted Stuka||UC San Diego||RHP||Detroit Tigers||14|
|Garrett Wolforth||Nova Southeastern||C||Cincinnati Reds||14|
|Logan Allen||Arkansas-Fort Smith||OF||Tampa Bay Rays||14|
|Louie Varland||Concordia-St. Paul||RHP||Minnesota Twins||15|
|Garrett Leonard||Rollins||RHP||Pittsburgh Pirates||15|
|David Vinsky||Northwood||OF||St. Louis Cardinals||15|
|Sammy Peralta||Tampa||RHP||Chicago White Sox||18|
|Andrew Dean||Illinois Springfield||LHP||San Diego Padres||18|
|Cole Waites||West Alabama||RHP||San Francisco Giants||18|
|Alex Moore||Lander||RHP||Chicago Cubs||18|
|Tyler Garbee||Mercyhurst||RHP||Cincinnati Reds||19|
|Blaine Crim||Mississippi College||1B||Texas Rangers||19|
|Spencer Van Scoyoc||Central Oklahoma||LHP||Philadelphia Phillies||19|
|Tyler Yankosky||Millersville||RHP||Washington Nationals||19|
|Jared McDonald||Western Oregon||C||Oakland A's||19|
|Tyler Krabbe||Montavello||C||Houston Astros||19|
|Najee Gaskins||St. Cloud State||CF||San Francisco Giants||20|
|Jimmy Robbins||Rollins||LHP||Toronto Blue Jays||20|
|Keaton Greenwalt||Lubbock Christian||OF||Philadelphia Phillies||20|
|Cade Marlowe||West Georgia||CF||Seattle Mariners||20|
|Peyton Williams||Catawba||RHP||Atlanta Braves||20|
|Yorvis Torrealba||Tampa||LF||Colorado Rockies||20|
|Alex Roth||Western Oregon||RHP||Pittsburgh Pirates||21|
|Shayne Fontana||Lynn||CF||Baltimore Orioles||23|
|Jayden Murray||Dixie State||RHP||Tampa Bay Rays||23|
|Blair Calvo||Flagler||RHP||Colorado Rockies||23|
|Austin Wahl||Cal State Monterey Bay||RHP||Oakland A's||23|
|Matt Minnick||Mercyhurst||LHP||New York Yankees||23|
|Shane Kelso||Oklahoma Baptist||RHP||Anaheim Angels||24|
|Will Guay||Concord||RHP||St. Louis Cardinals||24|
|Kipp Rollings||North Greenville||RHP||Seattle Mariners||24|
|Josh Broughton||Valdosta State||3B||Kansas City Royals||25|
|Ethan Goforth||Carson-Newman||C||Pittsburgh Pirates||25|
|Garrett Hiott||Eckerd||CF||Tampa Bay Rays||25|
|Dan Wirchansky||Pace||LHP||Milwaukee Brewers||25|
|E.P. Reese||Winston-Salem State||CF||Houston Astros||25|
|Ryan Troutman||Lander||RHP||Pittsburgh Pirates||26|
|Luke Chevalier||Northern State||RHP||Colorado Rockies||26|
|Chandler Casey||Lubbock Christian||RHP||Houston Astros||26|
|Dillon McCollough||Eckerd||LHP||Baltimore Orioles||27|
|Beau Brieske||Colorado State-Pueblo||RHP||Detroit Tigers||27|
|Tyler Adams||Indiana (Pa)||LHP||Philadelphia Phillies||27|
|Brock Minich||Nova Southeastern||RHP||Seattle Mariners||27|
|Cameron Enck||Rollins||RHP||Colorado Rockies||27|
|Jake Hoover||Hillsdale||SS||Texas Rangers||28|
|Hill Alexander||Lubbock Christian||RF||Tampa Bay Rays||28|
|Keven Pimentel||Tampa||RHP||Colorado Rockies||28|
|Michael Giacone||North Greenville||LHP||New York Yankees||28|
|LT Struble||Felician||OF||New York Mets||29|
|Utah Jones||North Greenville||SS||Seattle Mariners||29|
|James Acuna||Azusa Pacific||RHP||Atlanta Braves||29|
|Whit Drennan||Rollins||LHP||Houston Astros||29|
|Tyler Beck||Tampa||RHP||Minnesota Twins||30|
|Troy Stainbrook||Biola||LHP||Washington Nationals||30|
|Mitch Calandra||Eckerd||C||Atlanta Braves||30|
|Alex Achtermann||Pittsburg State||RF||Colorado Rockies||30|
|Edward Baram||Adelphi||RHP||Oakland A’s||30|
|Justin Gomez||Azusa Pacific||C||Cincinnati Reds||31|
|Cody Birdsong||Quincy||2B||Atlanta Braves||32|
|Craig Lewis||Seton Hill||CF||Baltimore Orioles||33|
|Cole Kleszcz||Azusa Pacific||OF||New York Mets||33|
|Charles Hall||Tusculum||RHP||Oakland A's||33|
|Ryan Bernadino||Bentley||1B||Kansas City Royals||34|
|Jonah DiPoto||UC San Diego||RHP||Kansas City Royals||35|
|Zach Rafuse||USC Aiken||RHP||Oakland A's||35|
|Jake Walkinshaw||Southern New Hampshire||RHP||Oakland A's||36|
|Garvin Alston||USC Aiken||LHP||Chicago White Sox||37|
|Kolton Ingram||Columbus State||LHP||Detroit Tigers||37|
|Jacob Forrester||Central Washington||RHP||Cleveland Indians||37|
|Chase Wheatcroft||Stanislaus State||RHP||Oakland A's||37|
|Eli Nabholz||Millersville||RHP||Milwaukee Brewers||38|
|Tom Archer||Lynn||2B||Chicago White Sox||39|
|Nick Conti||Eckerd||2B||New York Mets||39|
|Austin Crowson||Western Oregon||LHP||Philadelphia Phillies||39|
|Daniel Ross||Millersville||RHP||Pittsburgh Pirates||39|
|Koty Fallon||Western Oregon||RHP||San Diego Padres||40|