The New York Yankees selected the son of a former Dubuque Wahlert standout athlete during the third day of the Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday.
Zach Messinger, a 6-foot-6, 225-pound junior right-handed relief pitcher from Chandler, Ind., who helped the University of Virginia reach the College World Series last month, heard his name called in the 13th round, 393rd overall, in the 20-round draft that concluded Tuesday.
He is the son of the former Lisa Sampson, a multi-sport athlete at Wahlert who played volleyball at the University of Evansville, and the grandson of legendary Wahlert coach Bob Sampson. Zach Messinger’s father, Dennis Messinger, played basketball at Olney Central College.
Messinger went 3-2 with a 4.89 ERA and a career-high 64 strikeouts in 57 innings pitched in 28 appearances, including four starts, this season. He appeared in two of the Cavaliers’ Atlantic Coast Conference-leading six shutouts. In relief against VCU on April 10, Messinger struck out 10 batters in 4 1/3 innings to become the first reliever in school history to strike out 10 batters in a game.
Messinger also made a pair of appearances at the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. He allowed two hits and two earned runs without recording an out in a 6-5 loss to eventual national champion Mississippi State, and allowed two hits and two earned runs in 2/3 of an inning in a 6-2 loss to Texas that ended the Cavaliers’ season. He did not receive a decision in either outing.
The Cavaliers (36-27) had six players drafted this week.
As a sophomore during the coronavirus-shortened 2020 season, Messinger appeared in seven games, including a pair of starts, but did not have a decision. He struck out 22 batters in 13 2/3 innings while posting a 3.29 ERA.
Messinger pitched in 16 games, including five starts, as a true freshman in 2019. He went 2-1 with a 4.03 ERA and struck out 21 batters in 29 innings.