For the last two years, Citadel catcher Joe Jackson has flashed the signals to Austin Pritcher, telling him which pitch to throw.
Palmetto State Picks
State players taken in the MLB draft:
Player Pos. State tie Team Rnd Pick
Nick Ciuffo C Lexington HS Rays 1 21
Akeem Bostick RHP W. Florence HS Rangers 2 62
Daniel Palka 1B Lyman D’backs 3 88
Jacob May OF Coastal Carolina White Sox 3 91
K.J. Woods OF Fort Mill HS Marlins 4 112
Joe Jackson C The Citadel Rangers 5 160
Cory Thompson SS Mauldin HS Reds 5 165
Nate Smith LHP Furman Angels 8 247
Jake Zokan LHP Coll. Charleston Mariners 9 267
Taylor Grover RHP USC Aiken Red Sox 10 293
Emilio Pagan RHP JL Mann Mariners 10 297
Tyler Webb LHP South Carolina Yankees 10 314
Ryan Gunther RHP Charleston So. Braves xx 373
LB Dantzler 1B South Carolina Blue Jays xx 415
DeAndre Asbury OF Brookland-Cayce HS Cardinals xx 455
Will Remillard C Coastal Carolina Cubs xx 558
Scott Firth RHP Clemson Rockies xx 559
Austin Pritcher RHP The Citadel Tigers 19 576
Zach Loraine RHP Coker College Cardinals 21 635
Zach Hayden RHP USC Aiken Twins 23 680
Gaither Bumgardner RHP USC Upstate Mets 23 686
Trey Wimmer C Greenwood (Liberty) White Sox 23 693
Josh Miller C USC Aiken A’s 23 701
Bud Jeter RHP Presbyterian D’backs 25 750
Matt Pierpoint RHP Winthrop Rockies 26 769
Adam Westmoreland LHP South Carolina Marlins 26 772
Eli White SS Wren HS Reds 26 795
Brison Celek 1B South Carolina Blue Jays 31 925
Taylor Johnson OF Furman Angels 31 937
J.D. Osborne LHP Wofford Astros 36 1067
Will Callaway 2B Eastside HS (App State) 37 1122
Ben Carlson RHP Furman 40 1207
So it’s kind of fitting that it was Jackson who signaled to Pritcher on Saturday the immediate future of his pro career.
Pritcher, the Southern Conference pitcher of the year, learned from his battery mate that he had been drafted in the 19th round of the Major League Baseball draft.
A senior from James Island, Pritcher was the No. 576 overall pick of the three-day draft, which ended today.
Also, Charleston Southern senior Ryan Gunther, a Stratford High School product, was taken in the 12th round by the Braves, the No. 373 overall pick.
Pritcher was watching South Carolina’s Super Regional game against North Carolina when he got the word from Jackson.
“I was checking my phone and the computer here and there, and then I got a text from Joe telling me I’d been drafted,” Pritcher said.
Pritcher got a call from the Tigers shortly afterwards, and expects to report shortly to a mini-camp on Florida, where he will learn his first minor-league assignment.
“I’m pretty excited about it,” said Pritcher, a 6-1, 200-pound right-hander who was 8-3 with a 2.99 earned-run average this season. “It’s something I’ve dreamed of my whole life.”
Jackson was drafted in the fifth round by the Rangers on Friday, but Pritcher had to wait until the third day. That was nerve-wracking, he said.
“I was kind of numb when I didn’t go on the second day,” he said. “But once you get to a certain point in the draft, it doesn’t matter anyway. I’m just excited that I will get a chance.”
Gunther, a right-hander, was 7-5 with a 3.97 ERA, including a 4-2 mark and 2.86 ERA over his final seven starts.
“I’ve been a Braves fan my whole life,” Gunther said. “So to get drafted by them is something special.”