06/10/07 — Diamondbacks take Layne; ECU has three drafted

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Diamondbacks take Layne; ECU has three drafted

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on June 10, 2007 2:02 AM

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. -- Mount Olive pitcher Tom Layne was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 26th round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft, held Thursday and Friday at Disney World, outside of Orlando, Fla.

Layne will report to a mini-camp Monday at Tucson, Ariz., then will likely be assigned to one of two Diamondbacks' affiliates -- either the Missoula (Montana) Osprey of the Pioneer League or the Yakima (Washington) Bears of the Northwest League.

Layne was the 2007 CVAC Pitcher of the Year and an All-America honorable mention.

Layne posted a 9-1 record with a 2.87 earned run average in 2007. He tossed four complete games this season, including a 10-inning win over nationally 18th-ranked Armstrong Atlantic State in the second round of the 2007 NCAA Division II South Atlantic Regional.

Layne says the Cleveland Indians and New York Mets also expressed interest in drafting him, but it was the Diamondbacks who let him know they were ready to make him their pick.

"There was a 10-minute break between the 25th and 26th rounds, and that's when I got a call from the Diamondbacks," said Layne, who watched the draft on the internet from his home near St. Louis.

It took only nine picks into the 26th round for Layne to get the news he was waiting for.

"A bunch of my family and friends were here watching the draft with me," said Layne. "When my name came up, there was a lot of yelling and hollering. It was very exciting."

Layne admits he was hoping to get picked higher, but he has no complaints about where he was selected.

"I'm just happy to get picked and to get the opportunity," said Layne. "After the mini-camp, I'll get a chance to start playing right away."

ECU players drafted

Shane Mathews, Dale Mollenhauer and Charles B. Aycock graduate Dustin Sasser each heard their names called Friday afternoon as they were selected on the second day of the Amateur Draft.

Mathews was selected with the 249th overall pick in the eighth round by the Baltimore Orioles.

A 2007 second-team All C-USA infielder, Mollenhauer was taken with the 539th pick overall in the 17th round by the Chicago White Sox.

Sasser, a lefty from Pikeville, was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 21st round (pick 637).

As a junior, he posted a 5-4 overall record in 17 starts giving up 106 hits in 94.2 innings. He ranked tops among Pirate starters with a 3.52 ERA and was second on the club with 68 strikeouts.

In three years with the Pirates, he has compiled a 12-11 overall record in 53 games (35 starts) with 155 strikeouts and posted a 4.06 ERA.

Two future Pirates that signed National Letters of Intent to join East Carolina on the diamond for the 2008 season were also drafted on the second day.

Sthil Sowers of North Lenoir High School was taken by the Cleveland Indians (Round 22, pick 677) and Derrick Conaster (Tallahassee CC) was selected by the Cincinnati Reds (Round 28, pick 859).

Tyrell Worthington, who signed a NLI to play football at ECU in February, was selected on the first day of the draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth round, pick 163 overall.

-- The Sports Information Departments of East Carolina and Mount Olive College contributed to this report