MOBILE, ALA. -- Four-year varsity letter winner Derek Eitel (Marshall, Ill.), the first Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology athlete selected in a professional sports draft, helped the Class AA Mobile BayBears earn the Southern League South Division Championship during the first half of the 2012 season.
Eitel leads the pitching staff with 71.1 innings pitched and 12 starts for a team that finished 40-30 over the first half of the season. He has compiled a 4.29 earned run average with 44 strikeouts and just 27 walks this spring.
Eitel is completing his third year of Minor League Baseball, having progressed through the Arizona Diamondbacks organization after becoming the first Fightin' Engineer student-athlete selected in a professional draft.
The right-hander was a 17th round selection of Arizona in the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft. Prior to this season, Eitel has pitched for two years in Rookie and Class A Leagues, along with two appearances at Class AAA Reno.
The BayBears play in the Southern League of Class AA baseball and stands two steps below the Diamondbacks Major League roster. The team has clinched a bid to the Southern League Playoffs in September by winning the first half division title.
Eitel has compiled a career Minor League record of 18-16 in three seasons in Missoula, South Bend, Visalia, Reno and Mobile. He has struck out 206 batters in 268.1 career innings of Minor League work.
At Rose-Hulman, Eitel established school records for innings pitched (320.1) and wins (29). He ranks second in school history with 299 career strikeouts and ranked third in single-season school history with 92 strikeouts in 2010.
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.
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). 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.