|COURTESY: Arkansas State JONESBORO, Ark. (6/6/14) – Arkansas State senior pitcher Bradley Wallace was selected in the 10th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Tampa Bay Rays Friday afternoon. He was the 307th player taken overall and becomes the second-highest draft pick in A-State history.Wallace, a native of Rison, Ark., led the Red Wolves to the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament for a second straight season in 2014 and ensured that the team won at least two games in the postseason for a fifth consecutive year.
He was named among the top 100 seniors in the class of 2014 by Perfect Game USA and the 16th best right-handed pitcher in the class. He was a 2014 CollegeSportsMadness.com Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference selection.
“The last four years have been an amazing journey and I could not have done it without the support of the A-State fans and the amazing coaches I’ve worked with,” Wallace said. “Coach (Tommy) Raffo and Coach (Tighe) Dickinson have supported me and had faith in me during my four years at Arkansas State. I just want to thank my teammates and family and I’m excited about seeing what the future holds with the Tampa Bay Rays.”
Wallace finished his senior campaign with a 4-5 record and a 4.37 ERA in 15 starts. He led the pitching staff with 78.1 innings pitched and was second on the staff with 69 strikeouts. Opposing batters hit just .280 against him and his WHIP of 1.48 was the lowest among any of the Red Wolves’ starters.
In the Sun Belt Conference tournament, the right-hander tossed a career-high eight innings and gave up just two runs as Arkansas State fought off elimination in a 4-3 victory over South Alabama. He finished the afternoon with a career-best 119 pitches and struck out six.
Wallace also turned in a stellar performance against the No. 2 team in the nation, Louisiana-Lafayette, during the regular season. He tied a career-high with 12 strikeouts against the Ragin’ Cajuns.
“We are very excited about this opportunity for Bradley,” Raffo said. “Bradley had a strong second half of the season and a strong performance in the conference tournament. That success gives him plenty of momentum heading into his professional career with the Rays organization. Coach Dickinson does a great job with our pitchers every year and this is just another testament to how good of a coach he is.”
As a junior he went 5-2 with a 4.33 ERA and struck out a career best 78 batters. He fanned 12 against Western Kentucky on 93 pitches and also retired 18 in a row during the game.
A-State has now had a player drafted in each of the last five seasons and Wallace is the ninth player drafted from Arkansas State during the Raffo era. He is also the 18th pitcher that Dickinson has had drafted in his coaching career and the fifth from Arkansas State in four seasons.