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Bailey Clark was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the fifth round of the MLB Draft.

Duke baseball's Clark selected in fifth round of MLB Draft, 2 other pitchers selected in late rounds



After Duke’s top high school recruit Will Benson was drafted in the first round of the MLB Draft Thursday, three Blue Devil pitchers heard their names called in later rounds Friday and Saturday.

Junior right-hander Bailey Clark was the first active Duke player selected when he was picked by the Chicago Cubs in the fifth round with the 164th overall pick.

Despite suffering three losses in his first six starts and losing his position as the Blue Devils' Friday night starter midway into the 2016 season, Clark led Duke with 9.71 strikeouts per game. In the past three seasons, the Asheville, N.C., native posted a 4.31 ERA in 34 appearances, including a 5.61 ERA last season.

Redshirt sophomore James Ziemba was the next Blue Devil off the draft board when the Philadelphia Phillies chose him in the 37th round at No. 1,097. The left-handed reliever posted a 3.95 ERA in 19 appearances in 2016 and held opposing hitters to a .194 batting average.

One round later, Cornell graduate transfer Brian McAfee was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 38th round with pick No. 1,140. As Duke’s Sunday starter this past season, McAfee recorded three shutouts and finished 7-5 with a 4.11 ERA, leading the Blue Devils in innings pitched.

Benson—who announced that he would forgo a college career to sign with the Cleveland Indians after being selected 14th overall—was not the only Duke recruit drafted.

Incoming freshmen Adam Laskey and Matt Mervis were selected by the San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals in the 31st and 39th rounds, respectively.


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