Administration

MLB Drafts Three SCF, Manatee-Sarasota Students

(Bradenton, Fla., June 14, 2016) — State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) baseball coach Tim Hill II stayed glued to the Major League Baseball draft over the weekend. He was pretty confident two of his baseball players were going to be drafted and had more than an inkling a third player would be signed, too.

Hill began celebrating during the 13th round of the draft when the Seattle Mariners drafted Reggie McClain, a right-handed pitcher who graduated from SCF, Manatee-Sarasota and went on to play at the University of Missouri. Next up was shortstop Ethan Skender, who was drafted in the 28th round by the San Diego Padres. But Hill wasn’t done tracking the draft.

“I thought Reggie and Ethan were going to get drafted,” Hill said. But he also had gotten a call from the Atlanta Braves asking questions about outfielder Michael Gizzi. The Braves drafted him as a pitcher, and Hill immediately got a text from Gizzi’s mom, thanking him.

“He has a really good arm and they drafted him as a pitcher,” Hill said. “They liked his potential on the mound.”

Hill said SCF has had 221 baseball players sign professional contracts over the baseball program’s 57 years. Of those players, 29 have been called up to the major leagues.

“We’re one of the top schools in the country. High school players know that. We’re a strong option when it comes to attracting baseball talent,” Hill said. “People in baseball circles know SCF. Ours is one of the better programs.”

Hill said it’s his mission to keep up the SCF baseball tradition that began with Coach Robert C. Wynn, but also to make sure all of his student athletes remember to focus on their school work as well as their work on the field. Since 2007, the grade point average for the team has been 3.0 or better every year and his student athletes have graduated in two years.

“Our guys picked SCF for baseball; however, we still stress to them they are college athletes,” Hill said. “We make sure they are going to class. We tell them baseball doesn’t work out for most, only 29 got to play Major League Baseball and that tells you, you better focus on the classroom and focus on your education.”

From the beginning, SCF has had a strong baseball presence and a reputation for producing top players, the coach said. Hill who is on the road recruiting for next year’s team, is expecting another successful year. In his search, he always starts with Manatee and Sarasota counties, where he said there are a lot of great players.

“There’s always a challenge to keep the tradition going,” Hill said.

For information on SCF Athletics, visit SCF.edu/athletics. For information about sponsorships, contact Athletic Director Matt Ennis at 941-757-5574 or ennism@scf.edu.

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