Record Five GNAC Players Taken In MLB First-Year Draft
Clockwise From Top: Jared McDonald, Alex Roth, Austin Crowson, Koty Fallon and Jake Forrester.
Clockwise From Top: Jared McDonald, Alex Roth, Austin Crowson, Koty Fallon and Jake Forrester.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. – A record five GNAC players will have a chance to continue their baseball careers as their names were called in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Thursday.

Four of those selections came from Western Oregon. Senior catcher Jared McDonald was selected in the 19th round by the Oakland Athletics. Junior Alex Roth, the two-time GNAC Pitcher of the Year, was taken in the 21st round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Junior pitcher Austin Crowson was selected in the 39th round by the Philadelphia Phillies and senior pitcher Koty Fallon was taken in the 40th round by the San Diego Padres.

Joining the Western Oregon selections is Central Washington senior pitcher Jake Forrester, who was selected in the 37th round by the Cleveland Indians.

The five selections are the most in a single season in GNAC history and the most since the conference saw four players selected in 2012.

McDonald was a First Team All-GNAC and consensus All-West Region selection and also earned Google Cloud/CoSIDA Academic All-District selection. Leading all qualified WOU hitters with a .362 batting average, McDonald finished the season ranked fourth in the GNAC with a .611 slugging percentage and 46 runs scored, was fifth with nine home runs and sixth with 54 hits. His 19th round selection is the highest for a GNAC player since Northwest Nazarene’s Zeb Sneed was taken in the 11th round of the 2012 draft.

Roth repeated as the GNAC Pitcher of the Year after he led all qualified players with a 2.35 earned run average while finishing with a 7-0 record. In 61.1 innings, Roth allowed just 21 runs, 16 earned, and struck out 87. His 12.77 strikeouts per game and .200 opponent batting average led the conference. A consensus First Team All-West Region selection, Roth was also named an Honorable Mention All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA).

Crowson was drafted for the second time, opting to transfer from Lane Community College to Western Oregon in 2017 after being picked by the New York Yankees in the 27th round. In nine appearances for the Wolves, Crowson finished with a 3.66 earned run average and a 4-1 record. In 39.1 innings, he allowed 19 runs, 16 earned with 46 strikeouts and a .211 opponent batting average. A First Team All-GNAC selection, Crowson threw the fifth no-hitter in GNAC history in a 2-0 victory over Concordia on April 25.

Fallon was an extremely effective reliever for the Wolves, finishing the year with a 0.66 earned run average in 12 appearances. Pitching 13.2 innings, Fallon allowed just two runs on six hits and struck out 20 batters with a .125 opponent batting average.

The four Western Oregon selections are the first for the school since pitcher Brady Miller was taken by the Chicago Cubs in the 2017 draft.

Forrester excelled out of the bullpen for Central Washington, winning one game and earning five saves (third in the GNAC) in 15 appearances with a 2.45 earned run average. In 18.1 innings, Forrester allowed five runs on nine hits with 36 strikeouts and a .148 opponent batting average.

Forrester is the sixth Central Washington player to be drafted and the first since CJ Gettman was selected by the San Francisco Giants in 2016.