The Southland contributed some pitching to the first couple of rounds in the Major League Baseball draft on Monday.
Dillon Tate, a power-pitching right-hander from UC Santa Barbara and Claremont High, was chosen by the Texas Rangers fourth overall — making him the first player drafted other than a shortstop.
The first three picks were shortstops Dansby Swanson of Vanderbilt, to Arizona; Alex Bregman of Louisiana State, to Houston; and Brendan Rodgers of Lake Mary High in Florida, to Colorado.
Kolby Allard, a left-hander from San Clemente High, was taken No. 14 overall by Atlanta. He was followed by right-hander James Kaprielian of UCLA, to the New York Yankees at No. 16; and Phil Bickford, a right-hander who pitched for Westlake Village Oaks Christian High, Cal State Fullerton and, this past season, for College of Southern Nevada, for which he had 166 strikeouts in 86 2/3 innings. Bickford, who did not sign after being taken with the 10th overall pick by Toronto two years ago, was taken by San Francisco with the 18th selection.
Peter Lambert, a right-hander out of San Dimas High, went No. 44 overall, to the Colorado Rockies; Thomas Eshelman, a right-hander from Cal State Fullerton, No. 46 to Houston; and Cody Ponce, a right-hander from Cal Poly Pomona, No. 55 to Milwaukee.
Eshelman was selected right about the same time he was nailing down the save — one one day's rest after a 100-pitch start on Saturday — as Fullerton advanced to the College World Series with a 4-3 NCAA Super Regional victory over Louisville in 11 innings.
Lucas Herbert, Allard's batterymate at San Clemente, may remain his batterymate with Atlanta. The Braves chose Herbert No. 54 overall.
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