The third and final day of the Major League Baseball amateur draft brought welcome news to Ethan Goforth.
The Blacksburg High School graduate and Carson-Newman catcher was chosen by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 25th round Wednesday.
“It’s been a dream since I was a kid,” Goforth said in a phone interview about getting drafted. “I’m pretty excited.
“I was definitely sitting on the edge of my seat till I actually got a call.”
Rounds 11-40 of the draft were held Wednesday.
Goforth made the All-South Atlantic Conference first team this year as a fourth-year junior at Carson-Newman, an NCAA Division II school in Tennessee. He also made the league’s all-defensive team for the second straight year.
Goforth, whose father is Virginia Tech football trainer and associate athletic director Mike Goforth, said he plans to turn pro and bypass his senior season. He graduated from Carson-Newman last month.
“I plan on signing,” he said. “I feel very ready [for pro ball].”
After batting .318 a year ago, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Goforth hit .376 with 11 homers, 42 RBIs, 15 stolen bases this year. He tied for 10th in Division II in runs with 70.
“I was very raw coming into college,” he said. “I graduated [Blacksburg] as a 17-year-old, so I put on a little weight [in college].
“Coming out of high school, I was swinging at a lot of bad pitches — didn’t really have a plan when I went up to the plate. Over the last 3-4 years, I’ve really refined that approach.”
He threw out 16 of 38 runners attempting to steal this year.
“Whether it was receiving, blocking or throwing, my technique was refined day in and day out by my coach,” he said.
Goforth was one of three graduates of Timesland high schools to be drafted this week.
Jefferson Forest graduate and Winthrop pitcher Zach Peek was chosen by the Los Angeles Angels in the sixth round Tuesday, while Franklin County graduate and James Madison reliever Nick Robertson was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the seventh round Tuesday.
“It’s everything that I’ve ever wanted since I was little,” Robertson said Wednesday. “I’m just excited that the Dodgers picked me.”
Robertson, who made the All-Colonial Athletic Association first team as a third-year sophomore this year, said he intends to turn pro and skip his final two college seasons.
“I’m just excited for another opportunity,” he said.
Perhaps one day he will get called up to the majors and pitch in Los Angeles.
“One of my friends from school said, ‘I can see it now. It’s going to be a crazy headline in your local newspaper — it’s going to say, ‘From Owning Cows to Big City,’ ” said Robertson, who grew up on a cattle farm.
Robertson made the All-Timesland second team as a Franklin County senior in 2016.
As a JMU freshman, he injured his pitching arm the week before the season opener and had to undergo Tommy John surgery. He missed the 2017 season.
The 6-6, 265-pound Robertson was 5-1 with eight saves, a 1.01 ERA, 54 strikeouts and 11 walks in 35 2/3 innings this year. He stymied batters with his fastball and slider.
“My control’s gotten better since I’ve gotten to college,” he said.
He said he consistently threw 93-95 mph this year, up from 86-88 mph when he was in high school.