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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Matt Koch drafted by Mets

Thursday, June 7, 2012

In this file photo, Matt Koch is shown pitching for the Cherokee Braves in the 2008 State Tournament. Photo by Roy Tucker
Former Washington High School standout Matt Koch was selected in the Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday. The 6-3, 205 lb. right- handed flame-thrower was selected on the third round by the New York Mets, with the 107th overall pick. Koch had earlier been selected in the 37th round of the draft by the Boston Red Sox after he completed his high school career in Cherokee. Since that time, he has been sharpening his mound skills while studying at the University of Louisville, where just completed his junior season with the Cardinals.

Matt, the son of Scott and Deb Koch of Cherokee, was a two-time All-State, two-time All-District and four-time All-Conference baseball selection at Washington High School, where he earned five letters and was coached by his father. As a senior, Koch was 7-1 on the mound with a 1.15 ERA and 105 strikeouts, while in his junior season he had a 5-1 mark, four saves, a 2.08 ERA and 67 strikeouts. He was also the winning pitcher as a sophomore in Washington's 2007 state championship game.

Not just a "one-trick pony," Matt was the Student Council president, Class President, and a member of the National Honor Society at Washington High. He also earned four letters in track and field, and is the school record holder in the high jump. In basketball, Matt earned four letters and was an All-Conference selection, and he also earned three letters in football, where he was an All-District honoree.

Matt Koch today
In his first season at the University of Louisville, Matt was 3-0 overall with a 3.27 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 44 innings, and after he allowed just one run on three hits in six innings in a 7-1 win over Vanderbilt in the NCAA Regional Tournament, he was named to the All-NCAA Regional team.

As a sophomore, Matt went 5-5 with a 3.48 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 67.1 innings while making 11 starts and 16 total appearances and he came out of the bullpen with two shutout innings of relief in the Cards' elimination game win over Pittsburgh at the Big East Conference Tournament.

That summer, Matt pitched for the Chatham Anglers in the Cape Cod League, closing the summer with 12 straight relief appearances, including one inning of shutout relief in the Cape Cod League All-Star Game, and pitched 15.1 consecutive innings of relief without allowing a run. During that stretch, he had 16 strikeouts and allowed only eight hits. Overall, he was 1-0 with five saves and a 1.19 ERA in 17 regular season relief appearances and 22.2 innings of work. Including his All-Star Game outing, he had an ERA of 0.89 in 23.2 innings in the prestigious league.

This season, Matt pitched exclusively out of the bullpen for Louisville, and in 22 appearances he posted a 1-2 record, a 3.34 ERA, and 30 strikeouts and just eight walks in 32.1 innings. The Cardinals were ranked 25th in the country heading into the Tucson Regionals, where they posted a win against Missouri before being eliminated in the Regional Championship Game by Arizona.

The Mets reportedly plan to assign Matt to their advanced Class A affiliate in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

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