ARLINGTON, Texas – UTA senior right-handed pitcher Austin Gardner has been selected in the ninth round of the 2017 MLB Draft by the New York Yankees, going No. 272 overall, it was announced on Tuesday evening.
A native of Coppell, Texas, Gardner is the 59th all-time UTA player to be selected in the MLB Draft and the first in 2017. UTA has had a player picked in the MLB Draft in nine consecutive years, including a program record six draftees in 2014. Gardner is the 14th UTA standout to be selected in the first 10 rounds of the MLB Draft.
A 6-foot-2, 215-pounder, Gardner had a dominating season as UTA's go-to reliever in 2017. He appeared in the seventh-most games in program history, 29, while posting shutout outings in 21 appearances. Gardner went 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA, owning two saves in 44.2 innings, allowing only 36 hits and 10 walks, fanning 55. He inherited a team-high 22 runnners, allowing only seven two score.
Gardner posted a 1-0 record and a 0.69 ERA in 17 games in Sun Belt Conference play, striking out 32 in 26 innings. Over his final 26 games, had a 1.83 ERA and Gardner posted a 2-0 mark and a 1.17 ERA at Clay Gould.
Gardner was a driving force of UTA's record-setting season, that saw the Mavs set a program record in conference wins (20), road wins (17) and road wins in conference (12). UTA won its first Sun Belt Western Division title with a 20-10 record.
He opened his collegiate career at Wichita State, before transferring to Cisco College. Over his two-year career at UTA, Gardner appeared in 41 games with five starts, owning a 3-2 record and a 4.86 ERA with three saves in 70.1 innings.
The 2017 MLB Draft will continue through the 10th round on Tuesday and the final 30 rounds will be held on Wednesday, starting at 12 p.m. CT.
Had a prolific season as UTA's go-to reliever … Appeared in a team-leading 29 games, the seventh-most in UTA single-season history, with 21 coming as shutout appearances … Had a 2-1 record and a 2.42 ERA and made one start, earning two saves in 44.2 innings, allowing 36 hits and 10 walks, striking out 55 … Held opponents to a .222 average … Inherited a team-leading 22 runners, allowing only seven to score … In his 28 relief outings, was 2-0 with a 2.11 ERA in 42.2 innings, allowing 32 hits and nine walks, striking out 53 … Was 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA in 17 appearances in conference play, working 26 innings, allowing 19 hits and walking six, striking out 32 … Went 2-1 with a 1.83 ERA in his final 26 games, striking out 50 in 39.1 innings … Went 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA at Clay Gould, fanning 31 with just three walks in 23 innings … Was 1-0 with a 2.36 ERA in day games and was 1-1 with a 2.50 ERA in night games … Pitched in 16 games that UTA won, with a 2-0 record and a 1.73 ERA … Made season debut with two innings at Stephen F. Austin on opening weekend, allowing two runs and three hits … Got two outs – both strikeouts – vs. No. 1 TCU in the home opener … After allowing six combined runs over his first four outings, had an 8.10 ERA, but finished 2-1 with a 1.42 ERA over his final 25 appearances … Earned his first save of the year in a 5-4 win vs. Milwaukee, getting the final four outs and allowing a single … Picked up second save of the year vs. Milwaukee, getting the final out of a 8-5 sweep clincher … Made his lone start of the year with two innings at Sam Houston State, allowing four runs – two earned – walking one and striking out two … Worked a season-high four shutout innings in his first win of the year vs. Little Rock, allowing just two hits and striking out six … Picked up second win of the year with two shutout innings vs. No. 23 Texas A&M, allowing just a walk and striking out three … Tossed 2.1 shutout at Texas and Arkansas State … Worked 3.1 shutout innings in the series vs. Arkansas State … Tossed four one-run innings in two outings vs. No. 29 Coastal Carolina … Worked 2.2 combined hitless innings in two games at Texas State … Allowed a hard-luck run in the Sun Belt Championships, as a fly ball got lost in the sun and allowed the lone damage of the 2.2 innings vs. Arkansas State, striking out five without a walk … Tossed four shutout innings combined vs. No. 20 Louisiana in two games … Allowed only two hits in 2.2 shutout innings combined over two games at ULM.
Appeared in 12 games with four starts, owning a 1-1 record and a 9.12 ERA … Had a save … Worked 25.2 innings, allowing 40 hits and nine walks, striking out 14 … Allowed 10 doubles, one triple and one homer … Opponents hit .351 … Appeared in six games with one start in Sun Belt play … Was 1-1 with a 7.98 ERA in his four starts, allowing 21 hits and seven walks, striking out five, in 14.2 innings … In eight games in relief, worked 11 innings, allowing 19 hits and 13 earned runs, walking two and striking out nine … Inherited seven runners, allowing five to score … Made first start of the year with five innings, allowing three runs in a victory over Stephen F. Austin … Worked three innings for a save at Troy.
Junior College (2015)
Went 7-2 with a 3.50 ERA as a sophomore, with 42 strikeouts and 15 walks in 70 innings at Cisco College.
Wichita State (2014)
Appeared in two games at Wichita State.
A three-year letterwinner at Coppell High School, also playing a season in football … Went 4-2 with a 2.75 ERA with 25 strikeouts in 43 innings … Earned first-team all-district honors in 2012 … All-district honorable mention selection in 2013 … Played summer baseball with the Dallas Tigers, going 7-0 with a 0.79 ERA in 60 innings in 2013.
Son of Scott and Alicia Gardner … Has a brother, Kris (25) … Father played baseball at Oklahoma and spent four years in the Houston Astros system … Brother played baseball at Wichita State … Is majoring in marketing.