Chippewas' Cairns, Ruhlman Drafted

MOUNT PLEASANT - Two Central Michigan University pitchers were selected in the recently completed Major League Baseball draft.

Central Michigan senior right-hander Jason Cairns of Traverse City (Mich.) Central High School was picked in the eighth round by the St. Louis Cardinals while redshirt sophomore left-hander Jayson Ruhlman of Chesterfield (Mich.) L'Anse Creuse North was tabbed in the 23rd round by the Chicago Cubs.

Cairns was 8-5 with a 3.09 ERA in his senior season. He hurled 96 innings, striking out 68 and walking 55. Opponents batted just .241 against him.

"What more could you ask for than Jason (nicknamed Bird) being drafted by the Cardinals," joked CMU head coach Steve Jaksa. "We don't think that Jason has reached the top of his game. With a little more consistency, who knows how far it may take him."

Ruhlman, who was drafted in the 12th round out of high school by the Chicago White Sox, was 5-4 with a 4.40 ERA for CMU in 2005. He pitched 86 innings and struck out 99 with 44 walks. He held opposing batters to a .272 average.

While Cairns' eligibility is over, Ruhlman has the option of coming back for one or two more seasons.

"Based on what Jayson told us after the season, we don't anticipate him signing," said Jaksa. "We'll just have to wait and see with Jayson."

Three of CMU's incoming signees were also drafted -- left-handed pitcher Ben Rodewald (East Kentwood), 42nd round by the Detroit Tigers; outfielder Cody Allen (Coleman), 49th round by the Cincinnati Reds; and left-handed pitcher Jeremy Bloor (Marlette/Grand Rapids CC), 50th round by the Baltimore Orioles.

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