EKU Closer, Kentucky Native Will Brian Drafted In 10th Round By The Yankees

Jul 19, 2022 | Baseball, Featured

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Will Brian is the second Colonel closer to be drafted in the top-10 rounds in the last four years.

RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University closer Will Brian was drafted in the 10th round of the 2022 Major League Baseball Draft by the New York Yankees on Monday.

Brian was the 310th player selected overall. He was the 10th player chosen by the Yankees and the seventh pitcher picked by the organization through the first 10 rounds.

The Brandenburg, Kentucky native is the 39th MLB Draft pick in program history and the second Colonel closer to be drafted in the top-10 rounds in the last four years. Fellow Kentucky native Aaron Ochsenbein was picked in the sixth round by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2019.

Brian was chosen this past season as a first team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and a third team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA). He was a finalist for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award and was also chosen first-team all-region by the ABCA.

The redshirt junior was third in the nation with 15 saves in 2022. He went 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 39 and one-third innings pitched. He allowed only eight runs and 16 hits all season while holding opponents to a .121 batting average.

Brian broke EKU’s single season saves record of 12. He was first in the ASUN in appearances (31) and third in strikeouts among pitchers who did not start a game. Brian made five appearances against RPI top-100 teams, including No. 1 Tennessee, without allowing a hit or a run and striking out nine in five and one-thirds innings. He was the first team ASUN All-Conference pick at relief pitcher.

Over the past two seasons, Brian appeared in 56 games and compiled 25 saves. He struck out 101 batters in 72 innings.

Despite being picked to place eighth overall in the ASUN Preseason Poll, Eastern Kentucky finished the season 38-20, champions of the ASUN West Division and tied for the best conference record in the ASUN. It’s the most wins for an EKU team since the 1990 squad won 42 games. The Colonels won all three of their games in pool play to earn a spot in the ASUN Tournament semifinals.

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