UPDATE, June 16, 2:30 p.m.: At least five 2015 Sacramento State baseball players are now professionals. Four players who were drafted and pitcher Ty Nichols have signed contracts.
Original Post: For the first time in 26 years, four players from the Sacramento State Hornets have been selected during this week's annual Major League Baseball draft.
Nathan Lukes was the first Sacramento State player selected in the seventh round by the Cleveland Indians.
Pitcher Sutter McLoughlin went in the 22nd round to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Scotty Burcham to the Colorado Rockies in the 25th.
Brennan Leitao went to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 26th.
Each holds at least one Sac State single-season or career record.
Reggie Christiansen is the head baseball coach at Sac State. He says the number of Hornets chosen is a positive sign for the program.
"Kids take notice of it," he says. "High school kids, junior college kids want to go somewhere where they're gonna get a chance to play, earn a degree and get a chance to play professionally. This just continues to prove to them you can accomplish all three here."
Christiansen says pitchers Justin Dillon and Sam Long received several phone calls from teams on draft day but weren't selected. The coach expects them and pitcher Ty Nichols to be picked up by teams as free agents.
The coach says Lukes is smart to leave school early.
"You have no leverage when you come back your senior year," he says. "So, he'll get a pretty good signing bonus to go out and play. Really, it comes down to being a year closer to making it to the big leagues. He's accomplished everything he needed to accomplish as did Sutter. Those guys need to now go on and challenge themselves at the next level."
Christiansen says the teams will also pay for both players final semesters of schooling.
Major League Baseball requires players at four-year schools to complete three years or turn 21 before they can enter the draft.
Players in junior college or high school are not under that restriction.