Louisburg star 4th-round pick

Staff writerJune 9, 2010 

A day after North Carolina right-hander Matt Harvey was taken by the New York Mets with the seventh overall pick of the Major League Baseball first-year player draft, another Triangle area pitcher was taken early on the second day of the three-day draft.

The Chicago Cubs selected Louisburg College freshman Hunter Ackerman, a left-hander, in the fourth round with the 130th pick overall.

Ackerman, who joined a college summer team in West Virginia last week, was excited but said he wouldn't decide on whether to sign with the Cubs or stay at Louisburg until he talked with his parents.

"They're at work right now," Ackerman said, reached by phone Tuesday afternoon. "We'll all talk tonight."

He was surprised to be picked so early, as was Louisburg coach John Thomas.

"I was a little surprised, but then again it doesn't shock me because he had a phenomenal year," Thomas said.

Ackerman was 8-1 as a freshman with a 1.40 ERA with 92 strikeouts and 24 walks in 572/3 innings.

Thomas said what makes Ackerman special are two pitches he can throw exceptionally well: a changeup and a curve.

Also in the fourth round, Cody Stanley of Clinton, a UNC Wilmington junior catcher, was taken with the 139th pick by the St. Louis Cardinals.

That was one pick ahead of N.C. State's two-sport athlete Russell Wilson, who was taken by the Colorado Rockies.

Duke junior shortstop Jake Lemmerman went to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth round.

Lemmerman grew up in Southern California and was at home with family, monitoring more than one computer.

"I took my eye off the computer for a second," Lemmerman said. "My dad was on another computer, and he noticed the Dodgers had the next pick. Then he started going crazy. He came up and hugged me."

In the eighth round, N.C. State's junior righty Jake Buchanan was taken by the Houston Astros. He was in a Raleigh hotel with his family watching the draft over the Internet and had gotten a call from a scout during the seventh round.

He hasn't made a decision on signing but said, "Pro ball has always been my dream."

Also taken in the eighth round was East Carolina first baseman Kyle Roller (New York Yankees, 265).

Outfielder James Baldwin of Southern Pines Pinecrest was the top N.C. high school player picked (Dodgers, 4th round).

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