LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (UALR) – Former UALR shortstop Austin Pfeiffer has been selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 27th round of the 2014 MLB Draft. In 2014 Pfeiffer hit .253 with five home runs while starting every one of the Trojans' 54 games at shortstop.
"Well the first person to contact me was my mother," Pfeiffer said about how he found out he had been selected. "She called me and told me the good news shortly before the Orioles contacted me."
Pfeiffer said the Orioles congratulated him and said they look forward to what he can bring to their organization.
"We are all proud of Austin," UALR head coach Scott Norwood said. "The Orioles are getting a hard worker that will make their organization better and I look forward to watching his progress in the coming years."
The Benton, Arkansas, native came to UALR from Northern Oklahoma-Enid, where he batted .322 and posted a 1.96 earned run average on the mound. In 2012, Pfeiffer's first year with the Trojans, he was used solely as a pitcher logging 43 innings in 20 appearances including three starts. Before the 2013 season the right-hander was moved to shortstop where he started the final 110 games of his collegiate career.
In his junior season he posted a .296 batting average with nine home runs, 43 RBIs and 19 stolen bases, which was good for second in the Sun Belt Conference. His combination of power and speed left him just outside the top 10 in UALR history with 14 home runs and 35 stolen bases. Pfeiffer finished his career as a Trojan with 20 doubles and two triples while hitting at a .274 clip with a .420 slugging percentage.
Pfeiffer got off to a slow start in his senior season but came on strong toward the end of the year. From April 13 to May 3 he had a hit in all 14 of UALR's games and posted a .417 batting average with three homers over that stretch. The 14-game hitting streak was the longest for any Trojan this season. In his junior season he had a similar hot streak that earned him Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week honors on April 1, 2013. He tallied seven hits, six runs scored, six RBIs, five walk and four steals to bat .500 with a .650 on-base percentage in the week's action.
"Thank you to my coaches and teammates for making this opportunity possible," Pfeiffer concluded.
In last year's draft Tyler Buckley was the only Trojans drafted when he was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies with the 811th overall pick in the 27th round, which was exactly where Pfeiffer went this year.
Two UALR signees were selected in the draft as well. Chris Gittens was chosen by the New York Yankees in the 12th round and Eric White was picked in the 32nd round by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Gittens (Sherman, Texas) played at Grayson County College where he slugged 12 homers and 16 doubles while batting .424. The 6' 4" right-hander also went 8-0 on the mound while posting a 4.62 earned run average in 72.0 innings.
White (El Dorado, Arkansas), from Parkers Chapel High School, is a right-handed pitcher and a corner infielder. He led his high school team with six home runs and a .509 batting average while maintaining a 1.60 earned run average on the mound to earn 2014 All-State honors.