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Ryan Riga, Pat Porter among Ohio State players selected in MLB draft on Wednesday

Senior pitcher Ryan Riga (44) delivers a pitch for OSU. Credit: Lantern file photo

Senior pitcher Ryan Riga (44) delivers a pitch for OSU.
Credit: Lantern file photo

After sophomore right-handed pitcher Travis Lakins was selected in the sixth round of the 2015 MLB draft on Tuesday, the Ohio State baseball team heard a trio of its players’ names called on Wednesday.

Left-handed pitcher Ryan Riga became the second member of OSU’s starting pitching corps selected when the Chicago White Sox took him in the 13th round. Riga was the 382nd overall pick in the draft.

Riga spent three years playing for the Buckeyes after transferring from Wabash Valley College in Mount Carmel, Ill., after his freshman year.

After spending his first year at OSU pitching out of the bullpen, where he compiled a 2.14 ERA in 29 appearances, he joined the rotation for his junior and senior campaigns.

He struggled somewhat in his first year as a starting pitcher, going 4-4 with a 4.33 ERA. However, he tied for the team lead with 55 strikeouts and threw a complete game shutout against Oregon early in the year.

Riga broke out during his senior year, though, making headlines when he broke OSU’s all-time record for consecutive scoreless innings. Riga shattered the previous mark of 22.1 innings by throwing 30.2 consecutive shutout innings in March and April.

The Fairfield, Ohio, native was unable to sustain the early-season success he had but still finished the year with a 5-4 record and a 3.32 ERA in 15 appearances (14 starts). He was named to the third team All-Big Ten for his senior-season efforts.

The first offensive player from OSU was called two rounds later in the 15th when the Houston Astros took outfielder Pat Porter with the 439th pick.

Porter, a first-team All-Big Ten selection for his senior season, was the unquestioned focal point of OSU’s offense this season, batting third and playing right field in every game.

Notable for his powerful swing and strong outfield arm, Porter led the team in batting average (.338), hits (71), home runs (11) and RBI (49) this season. His 11 dingers were tied for third-most in the Big Ten.

A product of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, Porter played in at least 50 games in each of his four years at OSU. He commenced his collegiate career with a .283 batting average, 16 home runs and 124 RBI. He is also OSU’s all-time leader in triples with 15.

Redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Shea Murray was a late pick, going in the 39th round to the Texas Rangers.

Murray, a product of Defiance, Ohio, has only made 11 appearances for the Buckeyes — five in 2014 and six in 2015. He struggled in the bulk of them, surrendering 15 earned runs in 10.1 innings of work over the two seasons.

The 6-foot-6 Murray’s high strikeout rate was likely a main reason for the Rangers to look his direction, as he fanned 12 batters in 7.2 innings this season. However, he allowed 11 hits and walked four in that span.

Ryan Feltner, a right-handed pitching commit from Walsh Jesuit High School in the Cleveland area, was also drafted on Wednesday. The Toronto Blue Jays selected Feltner in the 25th round with the 752nd pick.

Seniors Trace Dempsey, a right-handed relief pitcher, and catchers Connor Sabanosh and Aaron Gretz went undrafted.

The four OSU selections were the most since the Buckeyes also had four players taken in 2007.

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