CLAREMONT, CA — The Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball selected Pomona-Pitzer standout Tanner Nishioka in the ninth round of the MLB Draft Tuesday afternoon.
The Red Sox selected the second baseman with the 281st overall pick, the highest ever for a Sagehen baseball player. Nishioka is the first Sagehen drafted to the MLB since David Colvin was selected by the Mariners in the 27th round of the 2011 draft.
"I'm really happy," said Nishioka. "I've worked really hard for this opportunity and have had a lot of help from my coaches and teammates to get here, so it feels awesome."
"The work ethic that this program is built around helped me put my best effort in everything I do and helped me become a better player. Now the real hard work starts. I'm looking forward to the new challenges and competing with professional baseball players."
Nishioka was a star for the Sagehen baseball team all season, racking up a slew of honors. The Honolulu, Hawaii native was tabbed First Team All-American, Academic All-American, West Region Player of the Year, and SCIAC Player of the Year during his senior season.
"I'm absolutely thrilled for Tanner," said Sagehen Head Coach Frank Pericolosi. "He worked so hard throughout his career at Pomona-Pitzer and his selection in the draft is the culmination of all that hard work."
"Tanner had opportunities to play Division I baseball out of high school but chose Pomona College to balance academics and prepare for medical school. Now he's an Academic All-American and a professional baseball player. I'm really looking forward to following his career and hope to see him play in Fenway Park one day."
Over the course of the year Nishioka put up outstanding numbers, leading the nation in home runs with 18 and slugging percentage at .888. He also finished the season with a .441 batting average with 53 RBI, 67 hits, and 48 runs scored.
He finishes his career top-six in program history in hits (254), home runs (36), batting average (.395), runs (189), and RBI (166). Nishioka also ranks seventh in single season batting average (.441) and is tied for third in home runs in a single season (18).
Nishioka finished his Pomona-Pitzer career as a two-time All-American, four-time All-West Region, four-time All-SCIAC, as well as SCIAC Player of the Year (2017), All-West Region Player of the Year (2017), and SCIAC Newcomer of the Year (2014).
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