By Mike Kays
Phoenix Sports Editor
For Fort Gibson grad Billy Waltrip, the timing might be right this time.
The Oklahoma Sooners pitcher was drafted in the 12th round by the Colorado Rockies with the 349th pick in the Major League Baseball draft this weekend. That news was balanced with the bad news of being swept by LSU in the Super Regionals in Baton Rouge, La., sealing it with the 11-1 loss on Saturday night.
It’s close to where the left-hander was selected after his sophomore year at Seminole State last June. He again went in the 12th round — the 372nd pick overall —by the Baltimore Orioles. He had just capped a 7-2 season with 91 strikeouts in 67 2/3 innings and an ERA of 1.60.
This season, he was 2-3 with a 5.15 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 36 innings. He started three games and made 17 appearances out of the bullpen.
The junior was unavailable but his coach at Fort Gibson, Randy Smith, had spoken with him several times since he was selected.
“He was pretty happy with the result. He'd pretty much made his mind up that he was ready to move on and he was really happy to be going to the same team as (Jonathan) Gray,” Smith said, referring to the Sooners’ ace who was the third overall pick in the draft.
“Plus it is close to home and with Tulsa, it could really be close.”
The Tulsa Drillers are the Rockies’ double-A affiliate.
Meanwhile, ex-Keys High School and Connors State pitcher Jake Fisher got selected in the 30th round (892nd overall) by Miami. Fisher (3-2, 2.50) was scheduled to be the Game 3 starter for Oklahoma in the LSU series but worked in relief in Game 2.
Fisher said the Dodgers and Cleveland Indians had shown the most interest. He got the call from the Dodgers around lunch Saturday
“I’m looking forward to signing and starting this chapter,” he said. “They asked me if I was interested in starting and I told them the same thing I said here. I consider myself that but I’ll do anything I need to to prove myself.”
Teams have until July 12 to sign players from the June draft.
Also, Tahlequah High grad Dusten Knight, who pitched at Texas Pan-American last year, was the 852nd pick, that coming in the 28th round, by the San Francisco Giants.
Below is a list of local players and area college picks with overall draft place and round number in parenthesis.
3. Jonathan Gray, P, Colorado (1)
63. Dillon Overton, P, Oakland (2)
206. Matt Oberste, 1B, NY Mets (7)
349. Billy Waltrip (Ft. Gibson HS), P, Colorado (12)
644. Ethan Carnes, P, NY Yankees (21)
664. Jake Fisher (Keys HS) P, LA Dodgers (22)
23. Alex Gonzalez, P, Texas (1)
817. Nathan Goro, SS, LA Angels (27)
31. Jason Hursh, P, Atlanta (1)
690. Randal McCurry, SS, Arizona (23)
90. Barrett Astin, P, Milwaukee (3)
366. Dominic Ficociello, 3B, Detroit (12)
499. Trent Daniel, P, Colorado (17)
512. Brandon Moore, P, Milwaukee (17)
723. Jacob Morris, CF, Chicago White Sox (24)
777. Tyler Wright, P, Seattle (26)
857. Randall Fant, P, Houston (29)
892. Eric Fisher, 1B, Miami (30)
1110. Matt Vinson, LF, Arizona (37)
Texas Pan American
852. Dusten Knight (Tahlequah HS), P, San Francisco (28)