Football player among three former Buccaneers selected in the Major League Baseball Draft

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Former Blinn College baseball players Kasey Kalich and Johnny Rizer were selected in the top seven rounds and former Blinn football player Caleb Hill was selected in the 36th round of the 2019 MLB Draft.

Right-handed pitcher Kasey Kalich played for Blinn in 2018 and was selected with the 127th overall pick in the fourth round by the Atlanta Braves out of Texas A&M University. Outfielder Johnny Rizer played for the Buccaneers in 2017 and was selected as the 198th overall pick in the seventh round by the Baltimore Orioles. Hill played football for Blinn in 2015 and 2016 and was selected as the 1,097th overall pick in the 36th round by the Boston Red Sox.

“I am very happy to see Kasey and Johnny get this opportunity to continue playing baseball,” said Harvey McIntyre, Blinn head coach. “They both were impact players for our program, continued to be high-profile players at the next level, and I expect more big things from them in the future.”

Kalich made 13 appearances on the mound in his freshman season and went 3-2 with a 4.86 earned run average in 46 1/3 innings. Kalich finished his 2019 season at Texas A&M with a 3-1 record and 3.18 earned run average. He tied for second in the Southeastern Conference with 12 saves. Kalich allowed a .242 batting average against and averaged 13.5 strikeouts per nine innings. He was named the winner of the Wally Moon Award given to the Texas A&M baseball player who shows the most improvement from the fall to the end of the season.

“I am so excited that Kasey was able to have such a big year with double-digit saves,” McIntyre said. “Kasey always wanted to go to Texas A&M and after a great season with us was able to transfer there after his freshman season.”

Rizer transferred to Blinn as a sophomore from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2017. As a Buccaneer, he earned all-region and all-conference honors after hitting .354, ranking second on the team with 11 home runs, and tallying 44 RBIs.

After transferring to Texas Christian University, the left-hander led the Horned Frogs with 11 home runs and recorded a .311 batting average with 75 hits and 39 RBIs in 241 at-bats.

“Johnny was here for one year, but he impacted our program by playing hard and always having a purpose,” McIntyre said. “He was a phenomenal kid and there was never a doubt in my mind that his career would take off the way it has.”

Over the past 17 seasons, McIntyre has coached 44 players who have been drafted into professional baseball.

Hill played baseball at Brenham High School in 2013 and 2014, but passed up a partial baseball scholarships for a full football scholarship at Blinn. As a freshman quarterback for the Buccaneers, Hill played in eight games, passing for 814 yards and six touchdowns. In 2016, he was named team captain, ranked as the No. 13 top junior college quarterback in the nation, and passed for 872 yards and five touchdowns. In 2017, he transferred to the University of Montana, where he played quarterback and tight end for the Grizzlies for two seasons.

“He is an exceptional athlete with a tremendous work ethic, so it is no surprise that he got drafted without pitching a inning of college ball,” said Ryan Mahon, Blinn head football coach. “He was very coachable and always made the team around him stronger.”