Two Owls selected in Major League Baseball draft
Dibrell chosen in fourth round by Mets, Upshaw in 13th by Cubs
KENNESAW, Ga. (Jun 14, 2017) — Two Kennesaw State University Owls have been selected in the 2017 Major League Baseball draft, marking the 10th consecutive year at least one player has been drafted out of KSU.
The New York Mets chose Kennesaw State pitcher Tony Dibrell in the fourth round (127th overall) Tuesday. A day later, the World Series champion Chicago Cubs drafted first baseman Austin Upshaw in the 13th round (405th overall).
Dibrell played a pivotal role in the Owls' starting rotation throughout the 2017 season, posting a career-best 2.45 earned run average and a 7-4 overall record in 14 starts. The right-handed pitcher earned a spot on the Atlantic Sun all-conference second team while posting the third-lowest ERA in Kennesaw State single-season history.
“We're extremely happy for Tony as he’s been committed to the Owls and to his personal growth over the past few years,” head coach Mike Sansing said. “Getting drafted by the Mets is a result of his hard work and dedication, and I’m excited for him and his future.”
The righty also tossed three complete games in 2017, the third most for a single season in Kennesaw State’s Division I history. Dibrell ranked first on the Owls’ roster and fourth in the ASUN with 103 strikeouts in a career-high 95.2 innings of work, as opponents batted just .218 against him.
Dibrell, who hails from Alpharetta, and Upshaw, from Buford, became the 63rd and 64th Owls ever selected in the Major League Baseball draft.
Upshaw made an immediate impact in the Owls’ lineup since joining the Black and Gold in 2016, posting a career .339 batting average in 109 games. The left-handed hitter has compiled 146 hits, 30 doubles, one triple and 15 home runs.
“We are excited for Austin (Upshaw) and his family. It's a tremendous honor for him and he’s had a long history of playing consistently and hitting at a high level,” Sansing said. “He’s a tremendous student of the game and the Cubs got a quality player in the draft.”
In 2017, Upshaw posted a career-high 17 doubles and eight home runs, driving in a career-best 41 runs while slugging .518. Defensively, the first baseman tallied a career .992 fielding percentage with 876 putouts and 77 assists.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the second-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 126 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.