Coastal’s Conway drafted by Cubs; Frawley to Blue Jays

Coastal Carolina had a pair of players drafted during Tuesday’s first round of the MLB Draft – pitcher Josh Conway and catcher Tucker Frawley.

Conway was selected in the fourth round (134th pick overall, sixth pick of the fourth round) by the Chicago Cubs in the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Draft.

Conway (Smithsburg, Md. ) is the seventh-highest Coastal Carolina player selected in the MLB Draft and the 10th Chanticleer over the last five years to be drafted within the top 10 rounds. Other top picks in CCU history include Mickey Brantley (35th overall pick in 1983; second round), Kirt Manwaring (35th overall pick in 1986; second round), Anthony Meo (63rd overall pick in 2011; second round), Mike Costanzo (65th overall pick in 2005; second round) John Rigos (78th overall pick in 1983; third round) and Larry Raskin (99th overall pick in 1979; fourth round).

Conway was voted second team All-Big South, marking his first all-league honor. The 2012 Preseason Big South Pitcher of the Year as voted by the league’s coaches and Baseball America, Conway was dominant at times, but ultimately missed the last month due to Tommy John surgery. This season, Conway was 4-1 and he struck out 50 in 54.2 innings.

In 40 career games, Conway was 14-3 with four saves and a 2.68 ERA. In 178.0 career innings, he struck out 153 with only 56 walks. His 2.68 career ERA ranks sixth on the CCU all-time list during the Division I era and eighth overall.

In his first seven starts, Conway posted a 4-1 record. In his last two starts, the junior pitched only 3.2 innings versus High Point and 4.0 at Liberty, striking out eight despite the injury. He was 2-0 in Big South games, producing two impressive performances. First, facing off against Radford’s Eddie Butler (the 2012 Co-Pitcher of the Year), Conway got the win, allowing four hits and two runs (a two-run home run in the seventh) with no walks and six strikeouts in seven innings. The following week, he struck out 10 in seven innings, allowing five hits and two runs.

Perhaps his best performance of the year came in a loss versus Virginia Tech in week two of the year. Conway struck out 10, walked none over seven innings, and allowed two runs. The following week, he pitched his first complete game to beat Ohio State, surrendering just three hits and one run.

Through the regular season, Conway ranked third in the conference in ERA (2.14) and third in opposing batting average (.222). Conway was drafted in the 42nd round of the 2009 Major League Draft by the Atlanta Braves.

Frawley was selected in the eighth round (265th overall) by the Toronto Blue Jays of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Frawley (Lexington, S.C.) is the second Chanticleer taken in the 2012 draft, joining fourth-round pick Josh Conway, and the 11th Coastal Carolina player to be drafted in the top 10 rounds over the last five years.

Frawley had an impressive senior year, both on and off the field. He was named first team All-Big South and was one of 12 semifinalists for the Johnny Bench Award, which annually goes to the nation’s top catcher. Off the field, Frawley was a first team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America and 2012 Big South Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He graduated summa cum laude with a 3.94 GPA in physics.

Frawley batted a career-high .296 this season and was an “Iron Man” behind the plate, catching 503 of the team’s 560 innings or 89.9 percent. While his batting average dipped below .300 at the end of the season, he reached base safely (hit/walk/hit by pitch) in 52 of the 60 games he played to have an impressive .411 on base percentage. In addition, he handled a pitching staff that led the NCAA in ERA most of the season. He threw out an impressive 49 percent (25-of-51) of opponent base runners this season and added seven pick offs. For his career, Frawley threw out 40.6 percent (41-of-101) of his base runners. However, from midway through his junior season, Frawley ended his career by throwing out 36 of his last 71 (50.7) of his base runners.

For the year, Frawley scored 25 runs, hit eight doubles and one home run, drove in 27, walked 33 times and only committed four errors in 431 chances. For his career, Frawley batted .275 with a .378 on-base percentage with only nine errors in 854 chances.

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