Record-tying 6 Seahawks picked in MLB Draft

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Mason Berne finished with two doubles and a home run in a win over #6 North Carolina on Feb. 20, 2018. (Photo: ACC Network)

WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW SPORTS) — UNCW seniors Austin Easter and Mason Berne became the fifth and sixth Seahawks to be selected when they heard their names called on Wednesday during the Major League Baseball Draft.

Easter, who went to Toronto, and Berne, who was selected by Atlanta, joined Ryan Jeffers, Austin Warren, Alex Royalty and Clark Cota as Seahawk draftees as the program tied its record of six selections set in 2006 and equaled just a season ago.

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Easter was selected in the 31st round by the Blue Jays after another solid season out of the UNCW bullpen. In 2018, he made 26 appearances while posting a record of 4-2 and earning a save. In 44 1/3 innings, opponents managed a meager .201 batting average and he struck out 9.7 hitters per nine innings.

Berne, a first-team All-CAA selection, delivered a career year, leading the team in hitting at .343 and leading the lineup with 82 hits. The first baseman played some of his finest baseball in the later part of the season, twice earning CAA Player-of-the-Week honors and then was named to the CAA All-Tournament and the Greenville All-Regional squads. Berne hit 14 doubles and 12 home runs and finished among the conference leaders with 56 runs batted in.

Also drafted were incoming Seahawk pitchers Justin Jarvis, Jake Smith and Michael Picollo. Jarvis, who hails from Mooresville was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the fifth round. Smith, meanwhile, is a native of Chapel Hill and was tabbed by Philadelphia in the 21st round. Picollo, who’s from Overland Park, Kansas, is the son of JJ Picollo, the Kansas City Royals Vice President/Assistant General Manager, and he was selected by the New York Mets in the 33rd round.