HARROGATE, Tenn. -- Lincoln Memorial University junior right-handed pitcher and ace Logan Sawyer (Knoxville, Tenn.) was selected in the 29th round, 863rd overall, by the Colorado Rockies, becoming the seventh player in program history and first since 2008 to be taken in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Sawyer, a 6-5, 215-pound right-hander hailing from Knoxville, Tennessee and Seymour High School, is the first Railsplitter to hear his name announced in the MLB draft since outfielder TeWayne Willis was taken in the 28th round by the Chicago Cubs in 2008. Along with Sawyer and Willis, Scott Shields (38th round - Angels), Allen Butler (8th round - Yankees), Ryan Wheeler (32nd round - Yankees), Ryan Freel (14th round - Cardinals) and Mickey Rivera (32nd round - Cardinals) comprise the fraternity of players in program history to be drafted.
Serving as the club's Friday starter during the 2014 campaign, Sawyer compiled a 7-4 record in 74 2/3 innings pitched with 66 strikeouts. After getting off to an 0-2 start, Sawyer nailed down wins in six consecutive appearances from February 17 until March 21, highlighted by two complete-game gems. Sawyer fanned eight in a complete-game triumph over Carson-Newman on February 28, allowing only seven hits and two runs to the rival Eagles. Sawyer topped that outing on March 15 with nine shutout innings versus the Armstrong Atlantic Pirates, relinquishing only five hits with seven K's and no walks.
After battling through a rough patch brought forth by nagging injuries, Sawyer conjured up another brilliant outing as Lincoln Memorial began its SAC Championship title defense on April 24. The strong-armed Knoxville, Tennessee native spun a complete game seven-hitter as the Railsplitters breezed by the Newberry Wolves, 7-2, in the opening round of the Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Championship. Sawyer fanned a season-high 10 Wolves, who boasted a potent lineup featuring fellow MLB draftee Ryan Cranmer. For the effort, Sawyer was named to the SAC Championship All-Tournament Team.
Sawyer was one of four players from the SAC to be selected in the First-Year Player Draft as Catawba's Joe Watson (12th round - Rangers) and Paul Kronenfeld (25th round - Reds), and Newberry's Ryan Cranmer (24th round - Marlins) were also drafted this weekend.
The Railsplitters completed the 2014 campaign with a 27-17-1 record and a 16-8 conference mark, tying the program record for SAC wins and highest league finish with a third-place run. Lincoln Memorial accomplished those feats despite losing six SAC games to weather-related issues.
Sawyer will likely begin his professional career with the Grand Junction Rockies, the rookie ball affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, who begin their season on Monday, June 16 with a trip to visit the Ogden Raptors.
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