Shunick, Surkamp Taken In MLB Draft

Eric Surkamp

ATHENS, Ga. – On the eve of his Game 1 start in the NCAA Athens Super Regional, NC State's Clayton Shunick got a special telephone call when the Cincinnati Reds made him their fifth-round pick in Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft.

Shunick was the 149th player taken overall in the 2008 draft. One round later, with the 177th pick overall, the San Francisco Giants took Wolfpack lefthander Eric Surkamp.

A junior from Alpharetta, Ga., Shunick spent the afternoon and evening with his parents awaiting to hear from a major league team in the draft. Shunick will start the Wolfpack's opening game in the Super Regional against No. 9 Georgia on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for noon. The game will be televised by ESPN.

Shunick, 7-5 with a 2.16 ERA, earlier was named first-team All-ACC by the ACC's head coaches, and a second-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball magazine and Louisville Slugger. Shunick transferred to NC State from Georgia State following the 2006 season. He went 6-3 with a 6.15 ERA as a sophomore, splitting time between the bullpen and the starting rotation. He appeared 17 times out of the pen and made four starts.

Shunick began to blossom this season. He increased his strength and durability, raised his arm angle, and perfected a split-finger pitch that he uses as a changeup. The split-finger pitch has been his bread-and-butter this season. Shunick led the Wolfpack with 95 2/3 innings, walked 23 and struck out 108, and held opposing hitters to a .215 batting average.

Shunick is Cincinnati's second player taken from the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Reds chose Miami first baseman Yonder Alonso with their first-round pick, the seventh overall pick.

Surkamp, a junior from Cincinnati, Ohio, went 5-2 with a 4.28 ERA. Surkamp went through an up-and-down 2008 season, but is finishing on an up note, posting a 1-0 record with a 2.91 ERA in his last four starts. A second-team All-ACC pick as a sophomore in 2007, Surkamp has worked 73 2/3 innings in 15 starts, allowing 74 hits, walking 38 an d striking out 86.

Surkamp was the second ACC player taken by the Giants, who took Florida State catcher Buster Posey in the first round with the fifth overall selection.

No other NC State players went in the first round. The MLB draft went through the first six rounds on Thursday.

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