BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Western Kentucky University baseball junior pitcher Andrew Edwards along with former first baseman Ryan Huck were selected in the final day of the Major League Baseball Draft on Saturday afternoon.
Edwards was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 19th round at pick No. 564, making him the ninth WKU pitcher drafted since 2008. Huck went to the Oakland Athletics in the 27th round at pick No. 821.
The picks mark the fourth time in the past five years that WKU has had multiple draft selections in the same year. With the duo’s selection, the Hilltopper baseball program has now had 19 players taken in the draft since 2009.
Edwards is the sixth WKU player selected by the Royals and the first since Brian Edelen in 2011. Edwards will join Matt Ridings (2007-10) and Phil Wetherell (2008-11) as active pitchers in the professional ranks.
The 6-foot-5-inch Edwards was an inning-eater for WKU during the 2013 season, working a team-high 80.2 innings while striking out 75 batters, another team high. Edwards sported the lowest ERA of WKU’s weekend rotation, allowing 42 earned runs, good for a 4.69 ERA.
Edwards fanned five or more batters in nine of his 15 appearances during his junior season, including a career-high nine strikeouts against Bowling Green State in his first-career appearance. The junior won more Sun Belt Conference games than any league pitcher, sporting a 6-2 mark in the conference.
Originally from Calvert City, Ky., Edwards tossed the best game of his career in a series-clinching win over NCAA Regional qualifier Louisiana-Lafayette, going the distance in a complete-game shutout while scattering six hits and striking out eight batters. The complete-game shutout was the first by a WKU pitcher since Bart Carter accomplished the feat in 2007.
The first Hilltopper ever chosen by Oakland, Huck was stellar during his senior campaign, leading WKU in virtually every offensive category. The slugger was named First-Team All-Sun Belt Conference and garnered Player of the Week honors a league-high three times. Huck was also named a finalist for the Gregg Olson Award on June 3, an honor given to college baseball’s “Breakout Player of the Year.”
Huck, a native of St. Louis, Mo., led the Sun Belt in home runs (16) and slugging percentage (.694) during the regular season and was one of two league players to rank top five in all three triple crown categories. Huck was .367 at the plate in 2013, knocking in a team-high 56 RBI. He also led the Hilltoppers in runs (43), doubles (16), total bases (136) and on-base percentage (.469).
Huck ended his career with a 13-game hitting streak, recording multiple hits in nine of his last 11 games. He was particularly dominant against rival Middle Tennessee, going 13-for-21 with six home runs and 14 RBI in leading WKU to a 6-0 record versus the Blue Raiders.