Nine SWAC baseball players were taken during the later rounds of the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft on Wednesday.

Alabama State relief pitchers Armando Ruiz and Jorge Pantoja; Alcorn State center fielder Earl Burl III; Grambling State center fielder Edwin Drexler; Mississippi Valley State outfielder Kalik May; and University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff pitchers Andre Davis and Kevin Walsh; and Jackson State infielder Melvin Rodriguez were among the selections.

Ruiz was a 29th round selection by the Oakland Athletics and appeared in 88 games during his four-year Hornet career.

He posted a 5-7 record and a 3.97 ERA with 14 saves during his career.

This season, Ruiz appeared in 24 games and posted a 3.63 ERA and a career-high seven saves.

Pantoja was selected in the 30th round by the Washington Nationals and appeared in 52 games primarily as a middle reliever. He struck out 54 batters in 56 innings pitched during his three-year career.

Drexler was chosen in the 38th Round by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was second on the team with 39 hits and led the Tigers with 30 runs scored.

The Toronto Blue Jays drafted Kalik May from Mississippi Valley State in the 33rd round. During the 2014 season, Kalik started 42 games and recorded 17 runs scored, 36 hits and 11 extra base hits to go along with 14 RBI.

After transferring from Gloucester Community College, Walsh compiled a 4-2 record with a 1.70 ERA. He allowed 12 runs (eight earned) on 29 hits over 42.1 innings with 54 strikeouts.

Rodriguez was taken in the 18th round by the Washington Nationals. He recorded a .422 batting average and had 97 hits, 22 doubles, seven home runs, 61 runs and 65 RBI.

Ruiz and Pantoja (Alabama State) became the ninth and 10th players in school history selected in the MLB Draft, with five players drafted in the past two seasons – Jesse Cleveland (1965), Willie Garrison (1967), William Hardy (1979), Rufas Ellis (1984 and 1985), Adrian Urquhart (2002), and Emmanuel Marrero, Richard Amion, and Richard Gonzalez (2014).


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