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June 7, 2014

More Gamecocks taken in MLB Draft day three

Four more South Carolina players have been selected so far in day three of the 2014 MLB Draft, pushing the Gamecocks' total tally to seven. Juniors Grayson Greiner, Jordan Montgomery and Joey Pankake were drafted on day two Friday.

Junior outfielder Tanner English was the first South Carolina player taken Saturday. The Minnesota Twins selected the speedster from Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, in the 11th round with the No. 320 pick.

English hit .284 in his junior season with 30 runs scored, 11 extra base hits (including a home run) and 25 RBI.

English also led the team with 21 stolen bases and covered more real estate than RE/MAX in center field. English earned a spot on the SEC All-Defensive Team - as well as the SportsCenter Top 10 a few times - for his glove work in the outfield.

English, who was also drafted in the 13th round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays, started all 62 games last season.

Junior closer Joel Seddon didn't have to wait much longer after English to hear his own name called. The right-hander from St. Clair, Michigan was also taken in the 11th round. The Oakland A's selected him with the No. 342 pick.

"Very excited and thankful to be drafted by the @Athletics!" Seddon tweeted after the announcement. "Thank you to all who have made this opportunity possible!"

Seddon was South Carolina's go-to reliever all year, working longer outings - including a start in the final game of the season - as the season went along. He finished with 14 saves, a 3-2 record and a 1.66 ERA in 48.2 innings pitched, earning a selection to the All-SEC second team.

Like English, Seddon ultimately improved his draft stock in three years at South Carolina. He was drafted in the 20th round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays.

It took until the 20th round before another USC player was selected, with junior first baseman Kyle Martin picked No. 599 overall by the Anaheim Angels.

Martin led South Carolina in hitting last season, batting .336 with five home runs and 35 RBI. He was also remarkably steady at first base, tying Grayson Greiner for the team-high with a .995 fielding percentage.

Martin started every game of the season at first base.

Junior reliever Evan Beal was the next Gamecock to be selected, with Kansas City taking him the 21st round with the No. 633 overall pic.

"Thankful for a new chapter to start in my life," Beal wrote on Twitter. "Thanks to #gamecocknation for the support over the past three years. Time to be a Royal!!"

A Fairfax Station, Virginia, native, Beal was arguably one of the more talented pitchers on South Carolina's staff, but had injury troubles and struggled to work himself back into the rotation his junior season.

In five appearances - including midweek four starts - as a junior, Beal compiled a 0-1 record and a 3.29 ERA. He allowed five runs on 12 hits and four walks in 13 2/3 innings.

The Royals also picked him out of high school in the eighth round of the 2011 MLB Draft.

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