Montclair State University right-handed pitcher Greg Belson was chosen by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 26th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft this afternoon.
"I'm estatic," said Belson. "I've been working my whole life for this. I didn't really worry about what round I was chosen. I just wanted to have an opportunity to compete."
Belson, a First-Team All-American selection this year, was the 789th pick in the draft and is the third Red Hawk in as many years to be chosen in the draft joining first baseman Shawn McCorkle (Seattle Mariners - 7th round in 1998) and pitcher Chris Keelin (Philadelphia Phillies - 16th round in 1999).
Belson posted an 11-2 mark with a 3.02 ERA as he helped Montclair State to its third NCAA Division III national championship last week. The righthander hurled a school-record 116 1/3 innings this season while striking out 98 batters. His 11 victories are second on the MSU all-time single season list and in his two years with Montclair, Belson posted a 19-7 mark. "It's certainly a great opportunity for him," said MSU head coach Norm Schoenig. "He's worked extremely hard all his life for this and I know he'll take every advantage of this. He's a winner, a competitor and has a huge heart and I'm sure he will do very well ."
Belson became the first MSU pitcher to earn First-Team All-American accolades since Wayne Masters in 1989. Belson recorded four complete games with two shutouts this year and had two saves as Montclair State claimed the NCAA Division III title in Appleton, Wisconsin last week by defeating St. Thomas (MN) twice on the final day. The Red Hawks finished with a 42-7-1 mark, setting a school record for victories.