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By Allen Moff | Staff writer
Left-handed pitcher Brian Clark, a former Stow High School star who has enjoyed a stellar three-year career at Kent State, was selected in Major League Baseball's First Year Player's Draft on Friday in the ninth round (258th overall) by the Chicago White Sox.
Clark successfully converted to a starter during his junior season this spring, finishing 6-7 with a 3.77 ERA in 15 starts. He struggled early in the year but settled in before the start of conference competition, compiling a 4-2 record with a 2.72 ERA in eight starts against Mid-American Conference foes.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder was named to the 2014 MAC All-Tournament Team after earning the win in KSU's 6-2 triumph over Bowling Green in the tourney opener. He started his career as a reliever, earning First-Team All-MAC and Capital One Academic All-District First Team honors as a sophomore, when he piled up 10 saves with a 1.38 ERA.
During his freshman season in 2012 Clark helped Kent State earn a College World Series bid and was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American after going 5-0 with a 2.08 ERA.
Clark has compiled a 13-9 record with 14 saves and a 2.91 career ERA in 151.1 innings career innings at Kent State, walking 64 while striking out 131.
"He's a big, strong lefty that features basically a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball and a slider," said veteran KSU pitching coach Mike Birkbeck. "He's also developed a change-up that I think he's getting more and more comfortable with and confident in. The one thing that really sets him apart is that he's just an absolute bulldog on the mound. He really competes well."
Clark is the first Kent State player drafted by the Chicago White Sox since Kyle McMillen was selected in the fourth round in 2011. Kent State has now had a player selected in one of the first 10 rounds in four straight years and five times in the last six years.