Ackley, White Taken In 1st Round

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- University of North Carolina junior standouts Dustin Ackley and Alex White were both selected in the first 15 overall picks of Tuesday's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, giving the Tar Heels a pair of first-rounders for the third time in program history.

Ackley was selected second by the Seattle Mariners, and White went 15th to the Cleveland Indians.

Ackley and White join B.J. Surhoff and Walt Weiss (1985) and current major leaguers Andrew Miller and Daniel Bard (2006) as just the third pair of UNC teammates to be picked in the same first round. With his No. 2 selection, Ackley is the highest drafted Tar Heel since Paul Shuey also went second in 1992. UNC has now produced 11 first-round picks in school history.

This year marks the second time two Tar Heels have been picked in the top 15. Surhoff and Weiss went first and 11th, respectively, in 1985.

"It is every player's dream to have a chance to reach the major leagues, and we are thrilled for Dustin and Alex," said UNC head coach Mike Fox. "They are first-class representatives of this University and the Carolina baseball program."

The first three-time All-America in school history, Ackley has become Carolina's career record holder in batting average (.410), hits (338), runs (225) and total bases (535) in just three seasons. The Walnut Cove, N.C., native has started all 204 games in his career and is a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award and a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy.

In UNC history, Ackley also ranks seventh in at-bats (824), fifth in doubles (58), tied for fourth in triples (11), tied for eighth in home runs (39), second in extra-base hits (108), fourth in RBI (195) and third in walks (133). He owns 105 career multi-hit games in 204 chances.

This season, Ackley leads the Atlantic Coast Conference with 103 hits, 22 home runs and a .412 average. He also tops the league in slugging and with a UNC single-season school record 194 total bases. Ackley also ranks fourth on the Tar Heels' single-season average list, tied for eighth in runs (73), sixth in hits, tied for third in home runs, third in extra-base hits (43), 10th in RBI (70) and tied for sixth in walks (50).

"I was definitely excited to be the first pick for a team. That's a great honor for anybody," said Ackley. "I'm just excited to play in the College World Series, to get back to Omaha and then go from there."

White, an All-America selection in 2008 and a two-time All-ACC pick, owns a 27-14 career record with a 3.96 ERA and 305 strikeouts over 298 innings. The Greenville, N.C., native ranks among the top 10 pitchers in school history with 27 wins (tied for fifth), 305 strikeouts (second) and 298 innings (sixth).

This season, White ranks among the ACC's top 10 in wins (sixth), strikeouts (second), innings (second), opponent average (sixth) and shutouts (first). He has fanned a team-best 109 batters, which is second in the ACC and ranks as the eighth-most in school history. White has logged eight starts with eight-plus strikeouts, including six straight from March 13 to April 17.

Over a four-start stretch against top-20 opponents Virginia, Georgia Tech, Florida State and Miami, White posted a 1.93 ERA, 36 strikeouts and allowed only 17 hits in 32 2/3 innings. He fired Carolina's first complete-game, one-hitter since 1994 versus the Hurricanes April 17.

"It's a great opportunity, and I was extremely excited (to hear my name called)," said White. "I was with a lot of friends and family, and they were just as excited as I was. I'm looking forward to the opportunity when my time here is done, and it's a great honor to be a part of all these great players."

Junior third baseman Kyle Seager was selected in the third round (82nd overall) of the 2009 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft Tuesday by the Seattle Mariners, just two rounds after the organization took fellow Tar Heel All-America Dustin Ackley second overall.

A Kannapolis, N.C., product, Seager is a career .350 hitter in 197 games, which is 10th all-time at UNC, and is 11th in school history with 251 base hits over the past three seasons. His 64 career doubles are second in program history, and he is sixth with 90 extra-base hits.

This year, Seager shares the Atlantic Coast Conference lead with 24 doubles, ranks second with 96 hits and fifth with a .386 average. He has hit safely in 52 of 63 games with a pair of 16-game hit streaks and owns 26 multi-hit efforts in the last 56 games.

North Carolina signees Donovan Tate (football signee) and Jacob Turner went third (San Diego) and ninth (Detroit), respectively.

Ackley, White, Seager and the Tar Heels open their fourth straight College World Series appearance Sunday against Arizona State on ESPN at 2 p.m.


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