June 7, 2013
By Eric DeSalvo
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF baseball program once again saw one of its own taken in the top five rounds of the MLB First-Year Player Draft as right-handed pitcher Ben Lively was selected by the Cincinnati Reds with pick No. 135 Friday afternoon.
Lively became the third fourth-round selection in school history, joining Clay Timpner (2004/Giants) and Eric Riggs (1998/Dodgers). He was also the third UCF player to be tabbed by the Cincinnati Reds organization with pitcher Rich Lawrence selected in 1995 and current Toronto Blue Jays hitting coach Chad Mottola taken No. 5 overall in 1992.
With his fourth-round tabbing by the Reds, Lively became the 17th Knight to be taken in the top-five rounds, and 30th overall in the top-10 of the MLB Draft.
"It's kind of surreal," said Lively, who was at his home in Gulf Breeze with a few friends and his grandfather. "UCF is the main reason where I am today. It got me more mature as a pitcher and a player. I give full credit to everyone there."
The Gulf Breeze junior wrapped up his impressive junior campaign with a 7-5 record, 2.04 ERA and 101 strikeouts while he earned a spot on the All-Conference USA Second Team in back-to-back years. In the all-time record books at UCF, Lively tied for seventh all-time with 21 career wins, ranked fourth in ERA (3.06) and seventh with 226 strikeouts.
Thursday marked the second time the hurler heard his named called during the draft as he was tabbed in the 26th round by the Cleveland Indians out of high school in 2011.
For head coach Terry Rooney, Lively was the 18th player to be drafted since he arrived in summer 2008. He was also the 45th pitcher, and 13th taken in the top-10 rounds, that has been coached by Rooney.
UCF's Selections in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft
1) Ben Lively - 4th Round, Cincinnati Reds - No. 135