LAFAYETTE – Louisiana junior pitcher Jordan Harrison was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays on the final day of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft held Wednesday afternoon.
Harrison, a junior college transfer from North Central Texas College who recently completed his first season with the Ragin' Cajuns, was taken in the 25th round by the Rays with the 782nd overall pick.
Wednesday’s selection marks the 31st consecutive year (1982-present) that at least one Ragin' Cajun has been drafted.
Harrison is the second Cajuns pitcher ever drafted by Tampa Bay, joining T.J. Geith who was picked by the franchise last summer.
Harrison is the 42nd Cajuns player (45th selection) coached by Tony Robichaux to be selected in the MLB Draft.
The Porter, Texas, native’s selection marks the 16th consecutive year that at least one Ragin' Cajuns pitcher was taken in the MLB draft.
Harrison made 17 appearances on the mound for the Cajuns this past season, garnering six starts. The southpaw was UL’s Sunday starter in Sun Belt Conference play for the four series in April (WKU, FIU, USA, UALR).
Over the course of the 2012 season, he logged 50 innings and limited opponents to 43 hits and a .235 average. At season’s end, Harrison finished with a 3-3 record and 3.42 ERA.
In his UL debut, Harrison pitched three scoreless innings in relief of Joe Zimmermann to wrap up a 1-0 victory over Wichita State on Feb. 18 in the CenturyLink Bobcat Invitational hosted by Texas State.
His first Cajuns start came on Feb. 28 in a midweek game vs. Alcorn State. The first weekend start for Harrison featured six strong innings against Southern Miss on March 10 (three hits, seven runs, four strikeouts).
Harrison turned in four scoreless relief outings over his next six appearances before being handed the ball for a start in the series finale against Western Kentucky on Easter Sunday.
A complete game one-hitter with 11 strikeouts vs. WKU garnered Harrison Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week Honors on April 9. It was the first complete game, one-hitter by a Cajuns pitcher since Zach Osborne accomplished the feat on April 9, 2010 vs. Troy at “The Tigue” and the 11 strikeouts marked the first time a Cajuns pitcher had fanned double figures since Osborne struck out 11 against Middle Tennessee on April 30, 2010.
Harrison joined the Ragin’ Cajuns in the Fall of 2011 after two seasons at North Central Texas College where he was named to the Texas/New Mexico JUCO All-Star Team. He appeared in eight games as a freshman at NCTC and struck out 64 in 60 innings.
Harrison earned All-District honors as a prep junior and senior at New Caney High School in Texas. He was selected by the New York Mets in the 36th round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft.
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