June 7, 2007
SPOKANE, Wash. - Clayton Mortensen, of the Gonzaga University baseball team, was selected as the 36th overall pick in the 2007 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft Thursday. The right-handed pitcher was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the compensation round held between the first and second rounds.
As the 36th overall pick, the Rexburg, Idaho native becomes the fourth highest pick in Bulldog history and the highest selection for a Zag since the 1975 draft. Former Zags Mike McNeilly and Lenn Sakata were both chosen as the 10th overall picks in January secondary drafts of the 1972 and `75 seasons, respectively, while Mike Davey was in the 32nd overall selection of the 1974 January secondary draft. Mortensen also became the third highest pitcher to be drafted out of Gonzaga, as McNeilly and Davey both threw for the Bulldogs.
The senior is the 49th overall Zag to be drafted into the MLB as well as the sixth member of the Gonzaga baseball team to be drafted under the guidance of head coach Mark Machtolf, who has served as the Bulldogs' head coach for four seasons. During Machtolf's 15 year tenure as a member of the Gonzaga coaching staff, 17 Zags, including Mortensen, have been drafted.
Mortensen finished the 2007 season leading the Bulldogs with a 9-2 record, 3.92 earned run average and 122 strikeouts. In 16 starts, the Rexburg, Idaho native threw six complete games and one shutout. His 122 strikeouts place him tied for fourth in the Gonzaga single-season record book, while his 119.1 innings pitched places him second in the single season ranks. Mortensen finished West Coast Conference play with an 1.60 ERA and a unblemished 6-0 record en route to being named the WCC Pitcher of the Year. For his efforts, he was also named a Louisville Slugger Third Team All-America by Collegiate Baseball.
The MLB First-Year Player Draft continues Thursday afternoon before wrapping up on Friday.