6/6 Cubs pick Thorpe in 8th round

Tommy Thorpe took over as Oregon’s No. 1 starter this season. His next challenge will be to make the Cubs’ rotation. The Cubs selected the left-hander in the eighth round of the First-Year Player Draft on Friday. He was the sixth pitcher Chicago has taken in the Draft. Thorpe went 11-4 with a 2.14 ERA in 16 starts for the Ducks, striking out 90 over 105 innings while walking 33. Teams batted just .217 against him.

Injuries to two Oregon pitchers moved Thorpe up, and he took over as the Friday starter. His record included wins over UCLA and Cal. In May, Thorpe threw 122 pitches in a complete game victory over Cal for his 10th win of the year but had to convince his coach to leave him in the game.

“I just said, ‘Give me the ball, coach, I’m not going out,'” Thorpe told the Oregonian. “Coach [George] Horton knows me really well, and he knows I’ll battle out there.”

Thorpe struck out eight and walked one in the outing.

“He was unbelievable,” freshman shortstop Mark Karaviotis said of the lefty. “He pounds the strike zone every night he goes out there. That’s why he’s our Friday guy. He’s our ace. That’s what we expect from him, and he produced tonight.”

— Carrie Muskat

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