Jefferson Forest graduate and Winthrop pitcher Zach Peek was taken by the Los Angeles Angels in the sixth round of the Major League Baseball amateur draft Tuesday, while Franklin County graduate and James Madison reliever Nick Robertson was chosen by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the seventh round.
Virginia shortstop Tanner Morris, UVa pitcher Noah Murdock and VMI pitcher Zak Kent also were selected Tuesday, when rounds 3-10 of the draft were held.
Peek, who made the All-Big South second team as a junior this year, said he intends to turn pro and bypass his senior season.
“It’s just a dream come true,” Peek said in a phone interview. “I worked 21 years toward this. All those long days, all those long nights, it was all for today.
“To see the look on my mom’s face and to see the tears in her eyes as she was proud of me, that’s what it’s all about. I always just wanted to make my family proud.”
Peek was the 181st overall selection in the draft, which began Monday.
He was named the 2016 Timesland pitcher of the year as a Jefferson Forest senior. But he was not drafted out of high school.
“I tore my ACL my junior year, so I wasn’t on anybody’s radar,” he said.
Peek said he regularly threw his fastball 89-92 mph in high school but now regularly throws his fastball 91-95 mph.
The 6-foot-3, 193-pound Peek was 7-3 with a 4.02 ERA, 91 strikeouts and 35 walks in 87 1/3 innings for Winthrop this year.
“Developing my off-speed pitches [in college] was a huge key,” he said.
Robertson, who made the All-Colonial Athletic Association first team as a third-year sophomore this year, was JMU’s highest draft pick in eight years.
He was 5-1 with eight saves, a 1.01 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings this season.
Morris, a draft-eligible sophomore, was taken by Toronto in the fifth round.
He made the All-ACC third team this year, when he hit .345 with 21 doubles and five homers.
Murdock, a junior right-hander, was chosen by Kansas City in the seventh round.
“Can’t wait to get my pro career started!!” he tweeted.
Murdock was 3-6 with a 6.30 ERA, 69 strikeouts and 33 walks in 74 1/3 innings this year.
Kent was picked by Texas in the ninth round, becoming the fourth-highest draft pick in VMI history.
He ranks seventh nationally with a school-record 132 strikeouts in 97 innings.
Kent made the All-Southern Conference second team as a junior this year, when he was 5-5 with a 4.64 ERA.
UVa signee Jack Kochanowicz, a pitcher from Harriton High School in Pennsylvania, was taken by the Angels in the third round.
The draft concludes Wednesday.