Mercer's Cox gets drafted by Kansas City in fifth round of MLB draft

Mercer LHP Austin Cox was selected in the fifth round by the Kansas City Royals in the 2018 MLB Draft./(Cam Gaskins, WGXA)

SECAUCUS, N.J. -- Austin Cox was pegged as the Mercer Bears' Friday night starter heading into the 2018 season, a high honor in the college baseball ranks. After a strong junior campaign, he looks to be taking his talents to the professional level.

Cox was selected in the fifth round -- 152nd overall pick -- by the Kansas City Royals in the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft.

He finished his junior season with a 7-4 record, compiling a 4.52 earned run average and 124 strikeouts in 87.2 innings pitched. He was big contributor to Mercer's 633 strikeouts as a team, which broke the single-season record for most by a Southern Conference team. Individually, he ranked ninth nationally with 12.73 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.

With his fifth round selection, Cox becomes the fifth-highest Bear to be selected in the draft. He is also the 20th player to be drafted since head coach Craig Gibson took over in 2004.

"We're thrilled to see Austin [Cox] get the chance to play at the next level with a great organization in the Kansas City Royals," said head coach Craig Gibson. "He's a great worker who will lead by example; his future is very bright."

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