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Quinones drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates

SENIOR RIGHT-HANDER Hector Quinones was selected in the 2017 Major League Baseball First-Year Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 32nd round. (Photo courtesy of Midway Univ. Athletics)

The 2017 baseball season was full of history for the Midway University baseball team and on Wednesday, June 14, that history continued when they had a player taken in the 2017 Major League Baseball (MLB) First-Year Player Draft. Senior Hector Quinones became the first-ever Eagle to hear his name called in the MLB Draft after the Pittsburgh Pirates selected him in the 32nd round with the 958th overall pick. "We are extremely excited and proud of Hector," said head coach Luther Bramblett. "It's not only great for him, but it's also great for our program and our University; to not only win the conference championship, but also have a player drafted, it's great." The 2017 campaign was the first-ever season for Midway baseball after the University made the decision to start coeducational athletics in 2016-17. Midway absorbed three programs, including baseball, from St. Catharine College, a local NAIA institution that closed its doors in June 2016. Making the transition to Midway from St. Catharine was Bramblett, his assistant coaches, as well as 18 players. One of those 18 players was Quinones, as he played one season under Bramblett at St. Catharine, who spent 15 years as the head coach. Quinones helped lead the Eagles to a 28-30 record overall and a 20-12 mark in the River States Conference. The Eagles also won River States Conference Baseball Tournament and earned an automatic berth in the NAIA Baseball National Championship. Quinones was a two-way player for the Eagles this season who not only pitched, but also spent time playing first base. When Quinones wasn't pitching or playing first base, he served as the designated hitter. He was one of only two players to start and play in all 58 games this season. For his efforts in his senior season, the Barceloneta, Puerto Rico, native earned First Team All-River States Conference. He also was named the RSC Baseball Player of the Week on March 20. On the mound this season, Quinones tallied a 5-5 record with a save and a 3.34 earned run average. He started 12 games and appeared in a total of 14 on the bump. He struck out 48 batters in a total of 67.1 innings pitched, while allowing a .244 batting average against. He not only forever etched his name in Midway baseball history by being the first-ever MLB draft pick, but he also accomplished a feat earlier this season that rarely happens in baseball - a no-hitter. On March 18, Quinones tossed seven hitless frames against Ohio Christian University, tossing the first-ever no-hitter for the Midway baseball program. Since 2015, Luther Bramblett has had a total of four players play professional baseball. He has had two players hear their name called in the MLB Draft and two others that have signed free agent contracts with MLB clubs. Overall, Quinones becomes the first Eagle to have the opportunity to play professional baseball and the 16th under Bramblett.

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