Derek Eitel Becomes First Rose-Hulman Player Selected in Major League Baseball Draft

eitelTERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Four-year varsity letter winner Derek Eitel (Marshall, Ill.) set Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology athletic history after being selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 17th round of the Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday.

Eitel, the 511th overall selection of approximately 1,500 players that will be chosen this spring, became the first Rose-Hulman student-athlete in school history selected in a professional sports draft.

Eitel will be introduced to the local media and the Rose-Hulman campus community in a press conference at 3:30 p.m. Indiana time on Wednesday.

His school records include career marks for innings pitched (320.1) and wins (29).  Eitel ranks second in school history with 299 career strikeouts and ranked third in school history with 92 strikeouts this spring.

Eitel helped Rose-Hulman reach the NCAA Division III Mideast Baseball Regional in 2008, 2009 and 2010, including Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament titles in 2009 and 2010.

In his NCAA Division III Tournament career, Eitel finished 2-0 with a 1.11 earned run average and 26 strikeouts in 24 innings of work.  He also served as the starting pitcher in all three NCAA tournament victories in Rose-Hulman baseball history.

This season, Eitel finished 6-2 overall with a 3.74 earned run average in 77 innings of work with 92 strikeouts.  His efforts included three complete games, two shutouts and one save.

His baseball honors also included two first-team all-conference awards and a pair of all-Mideast Region accolades from the American Baseball Coaches Association.

The two-sport athlete also completed a four-year varsity career as the team's quarterback in football.  Eitel established career school records with 7,507 passing yards, 576 completions and 52 touchdown passes. 

Eitel set Rose-Hulman single-season school records for passing yards (2,723), touchdowns (24) and passing efficiency (152.8) last fall.  He passed for a career-high 422-yards in the team's 34-21 victory over Franklin, and was named HCAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2009.

The most recent baseball alumnus to play professional baseball was 1997 graduate Eric Tryon, who reached the AA level in the minor leagues with the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Cincinnati Reds organization.  Tryon became the first Rose-Hulman All-American in school history in 1996.

Three student-athletes went on to appear in Major League Baseball at the turn of the previous century.  Former Fightin' Engineers to appear in the Major Leagues have included Lester Backman (St. Louis and Toronto from 1909-12), Charles Demmitt (New York, Detroit, St. Louis and the Chicago White Sox from 1914-19) and Art Nehf (Boston, New York, Cincinnati and the Chicago Cubs from 1915-29). 

Nehf is the most accomplished Major League Player in school history, with a total of 184 pitching wins and 833 strikeouts in 2,708 innings of work, and the Rose-Hulman baseball field is named in his honor.  Nehf is the only player in Major League Baseball history to toss a complete game victory in the deciding game of consecutive World Series in 1921 and 1922.  He appeared in four World Series and over a two-year span from 1921-22, held Babe Ruth to 2-12 with five strikeouts in the championship round.