SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— Sophomore southpaw Rodney Boone of No. 23 UC Santa Barbara Baseball has been selected in the eighth round of the MLB draft by the Cleveland Indians. He was taken with the 246th pick in the draft and will now join fellow Gauchos Shane Bieber and Kyle Nelson in the Indian organization.
Boone is a well decorated Gaucho that earned the Co-Big West Pitcher of the Year award this season while also being named a Second Team All-American, First Team All-West Region, and First Team All-Conference. He was also a three-time Big West Pitcher of the Week and was named to College Baseball Foundation's Pitcher of the Year watch list.
The Orange Calif. native is a tough lefty with a lot of movement on his ball that rarely gives up hits, ranking 10th in the nation this season with a 5.09 Hits Allowed per Nine Innings average. He led the Big West with a .165 opponent batting average in his 97.1 innings of work.
The Gaucho ace nearly took the conference triple crown this season leading the league with 11 wins and 128 strikeouts, while ranking second with a 2.31 ERA. His strikeout mark is the most all-time in a single season for any Gaucho and he ranks second on the career list with 239.
Boone helped lead the Gauchos to the 2021 NCAA Tournament making it to the Tucson Regional and he did not disappoint in his first postseason start against No. 23 Oklahoma State. The lefty gave UCSB the win tossing 7.1 innings of four-hit ball while allowing just three earned runs and striking out 11 batters. He was named to the All-Regional team.
His Gaucho career got off to a hot start in his freshman year as he posted a perfect 8-0 record to go along with 80 K and a 2.78 ERA. This feat earned him the Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year award.
Boone is the second straight pitcher selected from the Gauchos this season after seeing running-mate Michael McGreevy selected in the first round by the St. Louis Cardinals last night. The two of them helped lead UCSB to a record 619 team strikeouts. He is the 51st player selected in the Andrew Checketts era.