University of Mount Olive centerfielder Jay Gonzalez, who ranked second in the nation this year in runs scored and stolen bases, was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 10th round of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft. Gonzalez is the second highest draft pick in Trojan baseball history and his selection marks the eighth consecutive year a Trojan baseball player has been drafted.
A senior from Orlando, Fla., scored 81 runs and shattered a school single-season record with 51 stolen bases. Gonzalez won the 2014 Conference Carolinas batting crown with a .425 average, which was 10th highest in the nation.
Gonzalez, the 301st player picked in this year's draft, becomes the fourth Trojan selected in the first 15 rounds and the second to be drafted in the first 10 rounds. Carter Capps, who is in his third year in the Majors and first with the Florida Marlins, was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the third round of the 2011 MLB Draft. Capps had a 3.00 earned run average with 15 strikeouts in 12 innings before going on the 60-day disabled list.
Outfielder Jeremy Nowak was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 13th round of the 2010 Draft and catcher Geno Escalante was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 15th round of the 2013 Draft.
Mount Olive's current streak of draft selections started in 2007 when pitcher Tom (Tommy) Layne was picked in the 24th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Layne first reached the Major League in 2012 with the San Diego Padres and got called back up to the Padres in 2013. He signed a free agent contract with the Boston Red Sox last fall and is currently pitching for Triple-A Pawtucket in the International League.
Mount Olive set a school record with five players selected in the 2008 MLB Baseball Draft, which took place less than one week after the Trojans won their first-ever national championship.
Below is a list of Mount Olive draft selections during the current eight-year streak:
2014: Jay Gonzalez (outfield)
2013: Geno Escalante (catcher)
2012: Jacob Rogers (first base)
2011: Carter Capps (pitcher), Michael Knox (first base), Pete Levitt (pitcher)
2010: Jeremy Nowak (outfield)
2009: Rich Racobaldo (third base)
2008: David Cooper (shortstop), Casey Hodges (pitcher), Erik Lovett (first base), Ryan Schlecht (pitcher), Michael Williams (pitcher)