Originally posted on Summer Ball  |  Last updated 6/8/12
From the Forest City Owls
Five former members of the Forest City Owls were selected as part of Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft from Monday-Wednesday. Marty Gantt (’09, ’10), Craig Manuel (’11), Nate Hyatt (’10), Andrew Brown (’11), and Ryan Arrowood (’09, ’10) were all drafted by one of the thirty MLB teams.

Gantt went first of the group, a 7th round selection by the Tampa Bay Rays. The left-handed pitcher/outfielder led the College of Charleston to the NCAA tournament by hitting .373 and winning the Southern Conference Player of the Year award. In Gantt’s two seasons in Forest City, he batted .239 and drove in 14 runs, and was a part of both the Owls Petitt Cup winning teams. He was 9-of-10 on stolen base attempts.

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Manuel was drafted in the 10th round by the Washington Nationals. The Rice University catcher hit .275 this season for the Owls. Manuel also threw out one-third of the baserunners trying to steal against him. In 2011, he finished with a .330 batting average for Forest City over 29 games. In 94 at-bats, Manuel struck out just seven times.

Hyatt was the next former Owl to go, a 13th round pick by the Atlanta Braves. Though Hyatt’s time with Forest City was brief, he certainly made an impact. The Appalachian State product appeared in just seven games, making five starts. Over that time, he amassed a 2-2 record with a 1.99 ERA and a save in 31.2 innings of work. Hyatt led the Mountaineers and set a new school record with 16 saves this season.

Fellow Appalachian State teammate, Arrowood went in the 28th round to the Colorado Rockies. As one of three regular starters for the Mountaineers, the righty went 11-0 this season with a 3.81 ERA. Arrowood was named the Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year, and became Appalachian’s all-time wins leader with 27 over the course of his career. His excellence was also on display during two season in the Coastal Plain League. In 18 career appearances (16 starts) with the Owls, Arrowood was 12-4 with a 1.92 ERA. Both he and Hyatt won a Petitt Cup with the Owls in 2010, with Arrowood also capturing the cup in 2009.

Brown ended up as a 23rd round selection, also by the Rockies. The Akron product is the school’s all-time leader in innings pitched with 360.2 IP over his four-year career. Last year with the Owls, Brown made the most starts (9) of any pitcher on the staff. He finished the CPL season with a 3-2 record and a 2.27 ERA, tops among starters.

The Forest City Owls continues to strive to be one of the top franchises in the Coastal Plain League. The Owls are two-time Petitt Cup Champions (’09, ’10) and have made the playoffs in each of the last four seasons. Forest City Owls’ baseball offers fun and entertainment for all ages. To order your tickets today, call 828-245-0000, stop by the box office at McNair Field, or go online to www.forestcitybaseball.com.


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