Spartanburg, S.C. – USC Upstate senior pitcher Blake Whitney became the 29th Spartan in school history to join the professional baseball ranks when he was selected in the 24th round as the 728th overall pick by the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday in the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft.
Whitney is the 16th player under the direction of current head coach Matt Fincher to be drafted. He is the first pitcher to be drafted since Chad Sobotka and David Roseboom were selected by the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets, respectively, in the 2014 draft.
"I'd like to thank my teammates and coaches during my four years at USC Upstate," Whitney stated. "I also want to thank my family for pushing me to reach my goals and everyone who has believed in me through these past few years. I wouldn't be here without them."
Whitney went 5-3 in 13 starts with 82 strikeouts in 73.2 innings. He led the Spartans in strikeouts and ERA (2.81), and held opposing batters to a .222 average. On April 29, Whitney threw a complete game, three-hit shutout in a 2-0 win at Lipscomb. It was the second complete game of his career, the first coming against Lipscomb during the 2015 season. Whitney led the team with five victories.
During his career, Whitney appeared in 64 games with 48 starts. He is the Division I era leader with 251 career strikeouts, which is third-most in program history.
"I'm really happy for Blake," Fincher said. "Being drafted has been one of his goals during his time at USC Upstate. He has improved during his four years here and I know he'll make the best of the opportunity that is in front of him."
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