Blue Jays snag Pettway with third-round pick|[6/8/05]

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Brian Pettway and a handful of his Ole Miss teammates anxiously watched computer monitors Tuesday waiting for their names to be posted on the Major League Baseball’s Web site.

Pettway’s wait only lasted until the third round.

The Toronto Blue Jays drafted the Rebels right fielder and Warren Central graduate with the sixth pick of the third round. He was the 81st overall selection.

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“That’s not too bad,” said Pettway, who on Monday said he thought he would get picked somewhere between the third and 10th rounds. “I had my doubts for a little while, but it is pretty exciting.”

The 6-foot, 1-inch, 210-pound junior led the Southeastern Conference in hitting with a .400 average and earned the Ferriss Trophy, given annually to Mississippi’s best college baseball player.

He helped Ole Miss, which had six players drafted on the first day of the two-day lottery, to its first regional championship since 1972 and is preparing for the school’s first Super Regional.

The Rebels (47-18) will face Texas (49-15) in a best-of-three series starting Saturday.

“It’s a little bit of a relief to get it over with so now we can concentrate on Texas,” Pettway said. “They are a great team and are coming in here with a long background of playing in big games. It’s pretty exciting to play them at home.”

Pettway has not made a decision on whether to return to Oxford for his senior season or enter pro baseball. He said after the season is over – either this weekend or after the College World Series – he will sit down and decide.

Pettway is the second Warren Central graduate in as many years to get drafted, and third in the last four seasons. Taylor Tankersley was chosen in the first round by the Florida Marlins a season ago, and Shea Douglas was chosen by the Cleveland Indians in the 32nd round of the 2002 draft.

Pettway said he didn’t mind being taken by the Blue Jays, a team that is currently in third place in the American League East.

“It really didn’t matter who picked me,” Pettway said.

Pettway was the third Mississippian chosen in the two-day draft. Mississippi State’s Brad Corley went with the 59th overall pick to Pittsburgh and Pettway’s Ole Miss teammate, Stephen Head, was picked with the 62nd overall selection by the Cleveland Indians.

Ole Miss pitcher Matt Maloney was chosen with the 97th overall pick by the Philadelphia Phillies, and teammate Mark Holliman was drafted 100th overall by the Chicago Cubs.

Ole Miss pitcher Eric Fowler was chosen by Toronto with the sixth pick of the fifth round.

Alcorn State’s Corey Wimberly, the leading hitter in the NCAA and Southwestern Athletic Conference Player of the Year was drafted by Colorado in the sixth round.

Other Mississippians picked included Delta State pitcher Brent Leach, Ole Miss pitcher Anthony Cupps and Millsaps shortstop Garner Wetzel.

Mississippians in the draft

Second round

No. – Name – Pos. – College – Team

59. Brad Corley – OF – Miss. State – Pittsburgh

62. Stephen Head – P/IB – Ole Miss – Cleveland

Third round

86. Brian Pettway – OF – Ole Miss – Toronto

97. Matt Maloney – P – Ole Miss – Philadelphia

100. Mark Holliman – P – Ole Miss – Chicago Cubs

Fifth round

156. Eric Fowler – P – Ole Miss – Toronto

Sixth round

177. Corey Wimberly – IF – Alcorn – Colorado

196. Brent Leach – P – Delta St. – L.A. Dodgers

Seventh round

201. Anthony Cupps – P – Ole Miss – Arizona

10th round

297. Garner Wetzel – IF – Millsaps – Colorado