Mason selected by Diamondbacks in MLB 5th round

Mason selected by Diamondbacks in MLB 5th round

GREENWOOD - The hard-throwing Mason McCullough, Lander's junior right-handed pitcher who routinely clocked 95-98 miles-per-hour fastballs and hit 100 a few times, was selected Friday by the Arizona Diamondbacks organization in the fifth round of the Major League Draft. He was the 150th player selected.

McCullough, a 6-4, 240-pound junior from Shelby, N.C. started 15 games for the Bearcats this season after transferring from the University of North Carolina. He was 5-1 overall with a 4.59 ERA and had 87 strikeouts in 64.2 innings pitched.

"Mason has been on a lot of teams' radar all season," said Lander head coach Kermit Smith, who is the Bearcats' all-time winningest coach with a five-year 178-92 overall record and was selected the 2014 Southeast Region Coach of the the Year by ABCA/Rawlings and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and was voted the Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year.

"(Mason) has a tremendous throwing arm," added Smith, "and is exactly what the pros are looking for. He is one of a few people who can throw 100 miles per hour and that is pretty awesome. He has a lot of good years ahead of him."

In addition to helping lead Lander to a 52-9 record and the 2014 NCAA Division II College World Series in Cary, N.C., McCullough also made an appearance in the 2013 NCAA Division I CWS in Omaha, Neb., while playing for the Tar Heels.