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Five A-10 Standouts Taken in MLB Draft

Release: 06/10/2014
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Courtesy: Atlantic 10 Conference

Newport News, Va. --  Five Atlantic 10 Conference Baseball standouts were taken in the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft. 

James Norwood and Alec Solé from Saint Louis were drafted, while Jason O’Keefe, Jordan Carter of Saint Joseph’s and Ty Sterner of Rhode Island was also taken.

O’Keefe was taken in the seventh round by the St. Louis Cardinals, while Carter was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 22nd round.

O’Keefe is the highest draft pick to come out of Saint Joseph’s since Jamie Moyer was chosen in the sixth round by the Chicago Cubs in 1984.

O’Keefe earned First Team All-Atlantic 10 and Atlantic 10 All-Championship honors this season a year after being named to the All-Conference Second Team.  He has also been named to the Philadelphia All-Big 5 Team in each of his three seasons on Hawk Hill.  This year, he was one of 15 semifinalists for the Johnny Bench Award, given to the nation’s top collegiate catcher.

The Albany, New York, native led the Atlantic 10 with 58 runs scored, tying a single-season school record and ranking fourth in all of Division I in runs per game.  He finished the season in the top nine in the conference in average (.350, seventh), slugging (.519, sixth), on-base percentage (.423, ninth), hits (75, third), RBI (43, sixth), home runs (7, tied for second), and total bases (111, second).

Carter, the Atlantic 10 and Philadelphia Big 5 Baseball Pitcher of the year, became the first Hawk to ever reach the 10-win plateau on his way to Atlantic 10 First Team All-Conference and All-Academic honors.  He was named the A-10 Pitcher of the Week twice and the Big 5 Pitcher of the Week a whopping six times, including four consecutive weeks in April and May.

The Collegeville, Pennsylvania, native was among the A-10 leaders in wins, strikeouts, and opponents’ batting average, while his 15-strikeout performance at Fordham on April 12 tied a school record and earned Carter national recognition. A three-year weekend starter, Carter now ranks among the top 10 in SJU history in innings pitched, strikeouts, and games started

Norwood joined O’Keefe as a seventh round selection, going to the Chicago Cubs with the 199th pick, while Solé was taken in the 18th round by the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norwood was 8-2 as a junior for the Bills, posting a 2.68 ERA with 64 strikeouts and 28 walks. He earned first team All-Atlantic 10 accolades for his efforts. Norwood's eight victories is the second-highest single season win total in SLU history.

Norwood finished his junior season with a 11-7 record and a 2.84 ERA. He is one of only two Billikens with a sub-3.00 career ERA (Tony Tocco, 1.62 ERA in 1965-67).

Solé, a two-time first-team All-Conference selection, led the Billikens in hitting with a .352 average. He swiped 10 bases and posted a team-best .419 on-base percentage.

Solé helped the 2014 Billikens to the Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season championship. Last season, SLU won the A-10 Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Regionals.

Saint Louis has had a player drafted in back-to-back years. Grant Nelson was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2013 First Year Player Draft.

Sterner, who  was taken in the 30th round by the Cincinnati Reds, moved to the weekend rotation after spending his first two years at URI in the bullpen - allowed three or fewer earned runs in seven of his 10 starts this season. He recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts in URI's final game of the season against Richmond and faced just five over the minimum through 7.2 innings against VCU. In each of his three seasons at Rhode Island, Sterner recorded more strikeouts than hits allowed, averaging 7.9 K's per nine innings pitched.

Sterner becomes the ninth draft pick under head coach Jim Foster.

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