Surrounded by the family that watched him grow beyond his days as a Hilldale Hornets catcher and finish at Connors State this past spring, Jarrard Poteete got a call confirming he’d been drafted in the 19th round of the MLB draft by the Minnesota Twins.
“The house erupted,” Poteete said. “All the years and work, they just wanted to see something happen.”
Poteete hit .390 in 195 appearances at the plate, collecting 76 base hits, which included 15 doubles, one triple and four home runs. He had a slugging percentage of .538 and an on base percentage of .481. He transferred from Tech, where he was a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American.
He appeared in 58-of the Cowboys 59 games last season, collecting 55 RBIs, walking 27 times and striking out just 14 times. Poteete also had three stolen bases.
Wagoner grad Justin Ferrell gave Connors State coach Perry Keith his second current Cowboy to get selected, going to Houston in the 36th round, 1,066th overall.
Ferrell was the Cowboys’ closer. He was 3-2 appearing in 22 games, with five saves for an earned run average of 2.08. Ferrell recorded 54 strikeouts in 52 innings.
“I thought I’d go earlier, but Houston has shown interest in me since the beginning and it’s an up-and-coming organization loaded with young talent,” he said. “I think I’ll get a good chance to work my way up through an organization with a bright future.”
Yariel Gonzalez (first team) and Landon Bradley (honorable mention) were named to the 2014 National Junior College Athletic Association All-American Baseball Team.
“Yariel has had just an unbelievable career here,” said coach Keith. “The numbers he put up, especially in this era of the dead bats, has been amazing.”
Gonzalez, a sophomore from San Sebastian, Puerto Rico, who played second and third base, led the Cowboys to a 46-13 record this past season and a third place finish in the Region II Tournament and to the NJCAA College World Series a year ago.
The infielder led the Cowboys with a .444 batting average, fourth in the nation, connecting for 10 home runs to lead the Cowboys. He collected 68 RBIs tops on the ball club, while collecting 12 doubles and two triples. Gonzalez, who had a .649 slugging percentage, struck out just 19 times in 225 plate appearances in 59 games. He also had an even 100 base hits, second in Cowboy history for a season, while scoring 70 times. Gonzalez’ on base percentage was .488.
Gonzalez was also a first team Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference selection and Academic All-American last season.
Bradley, a freshman right handed pitcher from Smackover, Ark., was an honorable mention selection. Bradley, the ace of the Cowboys staff, posted a perfect 11-0 record fourth best in Cowboys’ history on the mound for Connors State.
“Landon has been an amazing story. Coming off Tommy John surgery a year ago last January,” said Keith. “He came back so fast it was incredible. He did a great job of rehab and taking care of himself. Landon came back better than before he got hurt.”
The right hander had an earned run average of 1.25, in 86 1/3 innings on the mound. It was the Cowboys sixth best ERA in school history Bradley struck out 61, walked only 15, while giving up just 61 hits and 12 earned runs. He averaged 6.36 strike outs per game.