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Stone Bridge alum J.B. Bukauskas selected 15th in MLB draft

J.B. Bukauskas delivers a pitch during his senior season at Stone Bridge.—Times-Mirror/Rick Wasser
Following a stellar junior season at the University of North Carolina, Stone Bridge High School alum J.B. Bukauskas is taking his elite diamond skills to the professional ranks.

The Houston Astros selected the right-handed pitcher with the 15th overall selection of the 2017 Major League Baseball draft, making Bukauskas the first Tar Heel to be chosen in the first round since 2013.

Bukauskas was the Atlantic Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year and a first-team All-American in 2017. He posted a 21-6 record with a 3.18 ERA in 42 career starts for North Carolina, finishing fifth in career strikeouts with 294.

Bukauskas drew strong interest from MLB scouts during his final high school season playing for Stone Bridge and coach Sam Plank.

He informed teams prior to the 2014 draft that he intended to stick to his commitment to play for North Carolina.

"Once we started to really think about it, college was where I wanted to be," Bukauskas said at the time. "I feel like I need to grow up a little more and get ready for pro ball. I’m not ready for it to be my job quite yet."

After three successful seasons with the Tar Heels, Bukauskas is ready to make that leap.

Bukauskas tweeted, "Such an exciting day! So many people that helped me along the way. It's been a dream come true."


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