Kyle Manzardo and Zane Mills did not have to wait too long to hear their names called in the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft as their names were called on day two. While the two Cougars were projected to be taken in the draft, there was a lot of talk about where they would land and when they would be taken.
Manzardo heard his name first as the Cougars first baseman was taken with the 63rd overall pick by the Tampa Bay Rays. The Coeur d’Alene native became the highest drafted position-player for the Cougs since Scott Hatteberg was taken 43rd overall in the 1991 MLB Draft.
Manzardo finished his Cougar career with a .336 batting average and a .533 slugging percentage. He also had 37 doubles, 16 home runs, and 105 runs batted in during his career. During his sophomore season that was shortened he was named to the All-American third team and led the conference in hits with 27, was tied for the lead in doubles, second in batting average, and was fourth in slugging and runs scored. He also finished the 2020 season on a 17-game hitting streak.
Last season, he was named to the Pac-12 first team and Collegiate Baseball’s All-American team as well as the 2021 Rawlings All-America Third team that was voted on by the American Baseball Coaches Association and Perfect Game.
Next up was the junior right handed pitcher in Mills who was selected with the 120th overall pick by the St. Louis Cardinals. Mills finished his career with a 3.95 ERA and a 10-9 record in 45 appearances. He is the highest Cougar pitcher drafted since Mike Conley was drafted 72nd by the Florida Marlins in the 2011 MLB Draft.
In his 141.1 innings pitched, he struck out 155 batters and walked 53 while giving up just 5 homeruns in his career. His best season came during the shortened season as he went 3-0 in 4 appearances and had a 1.44 ERA while striking out 32 and walking 10.
Last season, he was named Pac-12 Player of the Week twice including a game against California in which he threw a complete game and struck out 10, walked 2, and gave up 6 hits. He had just three games in which he pitched less than 5 innings last season and gave up double-digit hits just once.
Manzardo and Mills are the first pair of Cougars to go in the first four rounds of the MLB Draft since Aaron Sele and Hatteberg did it in the 1991 draft.
It was a dream born on the Little League fields of Coeur d’Alene. That’s where Kyle Manzardo and his 8- and 9-year-old teammates first hatched the concept of playing the game of baseball for a living.
Washington State first baseman Kyle Manzardo was selected in the second round by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft Monday.
Washington State pitcher Zane Mills was selected in the fourth round by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft Monday.
The 6-foot-1, 230-pound left-hander, a Washington State commit, had a 7-0 record and 1.95 ERA to lead the NWAC East Region during the pandemic-impacted 2021 season. His 81 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings averaged 13.17 strikeouts per nine innings.
Washington State rowers Kateryna Maistrenko and Ilaria Macchi shinned for their home countries this past week at the 2021 U-23 World Championships in Racice, Czech Republic.
Gordon joined Washington State in 2016 as a junior college transfer out of City College of San Francisco. His first two seasons were effectively redshirt years and he didn’t see his first action until 2018, where he appeared in two games in relief of then-starter Gardner Minshew.