Roller selected by Athletics in MLB Draft|Slugger expected to return to Pirates

Published 1:29 am Friday, June 12, 2009

Sports Editor

Kyle Roller put up some big numbers in his junior season with the East Carolina Pirates.
Though the 6-1, 248-pound big man was selected in the 47th round by the Oakland Athletics in Thursday’s 2009 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft, coming with the 1,413th overall pick, Roller will likely return to the Pirates for his senior season.
Roller earned several honors this season. He was named First Team All-America by Ping!Baseball, tabbed First Team All-Conference USA and selected to the 2009 NCAa Greenville Regional All-Tournament team.
The designated hitter, who hit .336, led the Pirates in home runs (16), RBIs (75) and hit-by-pitches (24) this season. The 75 RBIs are tied for the second most in ECU single-season history, equaling Winfred Johnson’s total in 1985. Steve Salargo holds the record of 77, established in 1999.
Roller’s 39 career homers is tied for fourth best with Tommy Eason (1989-91).
(Winfred Johnson belted 70 from 1983-86, John Williamson smacked 47 from 1998-2001 and Darryl Lawhorn smashed 43 from 2002-04.)
His 155 career RBIs is tied for seventh best with Eason. Johnson holds the record with 221.
Roller was the fifth ECU player to be selected in the draft. Going on Wednesday were junior Devin Harris (8th round, Baltimore Orioles), senior Ryan Wood (11th round, Kansas City Royals), junior Chris Heston (12th round, San Francisco Giants) and senior Stephen Batts (19th round, Philadelphia Phillies).
Also taken on Thursday were 2010 signees Joseph Hughes (Washington Nationals/ 40th round, pick 1,192), Chris Gosik (Philadelphia Phillies/49th round, pick 1,487) and Tyler Joyner (Cleveland Indians/50th round, pick 1,505).
Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels), Nick McBride (Texas Rangers), Walker Gourley (Pittsburgh Pirates) and John Wooten (San Diego Padres).
Brandt named to second All-America team
GREENVILLE – East Carolina left-hander Kevin Brandt picked up his second all-america honor when he was tabbed Third-Team Freshman All-America by Ping!Baseball on Thursday.
For Brandt it is his fourth post-season honor following his selection to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America, his Conference USA All-Freshman Team selection and the 2009 NCAA Greenville Regional All-Tournament Team honor.
The Fuquay Varina native has made 28 appearances this season, logging six starts, and posted a 9-2 record. Brandt finished his freshman season with a 3.64 ERA with 72 strikeouts, while walking just 24 batters in 81.2 innings pitched. On April 27 he was named Conference USA Pitcher-of-the-Week after leading ECU to a shutout victory over then – No. 1 North Carolina.
Brandt gives East Carolina a freshman All-American pitcher for the second straight season, following Seth Maness last season. He is also the third Pirate this season named to an all-america squad joining senior Ryan Wood and junior Kyle Roller.