Towns, a third baseman who went undrafted last year, has started 61 games and is batting .298 with five home runs and 60 RBI for Virginia, which begins the College World Series this weekend after beating Maryland in the super regionals. The Burke native has appeared in 200 games and started 171 during his Cavaliers career, batting .290 with 14 home runs and 152 RBI.
During his four years at Lake Braddock, Towns set school records in nearly every offensive category, including runs, hits, RBI, doubles, home runs, walks, batting average and total bases. In his senior season, Towns led the Bruins to the Virginia AAA quarterfinals and batted .550 with eight home runs and 35 RBI while going 7-1 with a 1.20 ERA on the mound.
More than two weeks after throwing a one-hit shutout and striking out 17 in the Maryland 3A state championship game, Chopticon‘s Ljay Newsome was drafted in the 26th round with the 785th overall pick by the Seattle Mariners. Newsome, the Maryland Gatorade player of the year, went 12-0 with a 0.80 ERA and 118 strikeouts for the Braves, who finished the season 22-1 and won their first state title. The six-foot, 195-pound right-hander consistently threw in the upper 80s this season and touched the low 90s. Newsome, a second team All-Met last season, was uncommitted at the end of May.
Other local draft picks
– The Baltimore Orioles tabbed Northern product Ryan Meisinger from Radford in the 11th round with the 343rd overall pick. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound right-handed reliever had a 1.62 ERA in 31 relief appearances this spring.
– Former Huntingtown right-hander Joey Strain was drafted out of Winthrop by the Seattle Mariners in the 22nd round (665th overall). Strain, an All-Met honorable mention in 2011, went 4-2 with nine saves and a 4.30 ERA this spring.
– Former DeMatha left-hander Zach Morris became part of Maryland’s record-breaking draft class when the Philadelphia Phillies tabbed him in the 24th round with the 714th overall pick. Morris, who started his college career at Cincinnati, was a second team All-Met selection in 2011 and went 3-2 with a 2.61 ERA in 22 relief appearances for the Terrapins this spring.
– Quince Orchard alumnus Chad Martin went to the New York Yankees in the 30th round with the 903rd overall pick.
– In the 30th round with the 909th overall pick, the Kansas City Royals selected Oakton alum Luke Willis from George Mason. Willis, a first team All-Met selection in 2011, started his college career at Coastal Carolina before transferring to George Mason. In two seasons with the Patriots, Willis started 107 games and batted .327 with 27 doubles, six home runs, 63 RBI and 50 steals. As a senior for Oakton, Willis batted .438 with five home runs and 30 RBI.
– Reservoir right-hander Cody Morris, an All-Met who was projected as a high-round pick before he underwent Tommy John surgery, will honor his commitment to South Carolina after he wasn’t selected in the draft’s first 10 rounds, according to TheBigSpur.com. But the Baltimore Orioles selected Morris in the 32nd round with the 973rd pick early Wednesday evening. Morris, who has a fastball in the low 90s, pitched only 12 innings this spring but appeared in every game and batted .453. He posted an 0.80 ERA when he led Reservoir to the Maryland 3A state title last year and pitched a two-hitter in the championship game.