CONWAY — While monitoring the second day of Major League Baseballs First-Year Player Draft and waiting to see if a couple of his Coastal Carolina teammates might get selected, Colin Hering received quite a surprise Friday evening.
As it turned out, he would be the one getting drafted.
Hering, who struggled offensively as a senior this spring after a strong junior season, got a call from the Los Angeles Dodgers, who then selected him late in the 10th round with the 309th overall pick.
I was shocked, he said shortly after getting the news. I didnt really know if I was going to get a chance to play after this year after having a tough year. Im just so excited to get an opportunity to redeem myself and hopefully have success at the next level.
After hitting .297 with three home runs and 27 RBI as a junior in 2013 during his debut season with the Chanticleers, Hering hit just .213 with one homer, 13 RBIs and a .264 slugging percentage as a senior.
He said hes ready to turn the page, though, and take his shot at professional baseball.
Im just excited that at least one team out there has faith in me, Hering said. These last few weeks Ive been working out, praying for the best but expecting the worst. But now that Ive gotten the opportunity, Ive just got to make the most of it.
A 6-foot-3, 215-pound outfielder with a strong arm and power potential, Hering began his collegiate career at Bellevue College in Washington before transferring to Coastal Carolina.
Hes the 23rd-highest draft pick in program history for the Chants and the only Coastal Carolina player to be selected so far this year with 10 rounds complete and the final 30 scheduled for Saturday. Herings selection made it 18 consecutive years at least one CCU player has been drafted and the seventh straight year a Chanticleer has gone in the first 10 rounds.
Hering was at teammate Austin Kerrs place with Kerr and Chants catcher Tyler Chadwick watching the NCAA super regionals on television and monitoring the MLB draft online when he got that call from the Dodgers.
We were looking for [Ben Smiths] name or Tyler Herbs name, Hering said of two Coastal Carolina pitchers also hoping to be drafted. Thats who we were looking for. We didnt expect to see me.
As for the phone call from the Dodgers
They were like, Do you want to play pro ball? Hering recounted. I was like, Yes, 100 percent.
He still didnt fully believe it was going to happen until he officially saw his name pop up on the screen, though.
Im just excited that a dream has become reality, he said.
Congratulations quickly poured in from teammates on Twitter while Chadwick tweeted, Crazy how a phone call can change everything! So happy I was there for that.
Hering said hes expecting a call from the Dodgers on Saturday to let him know when and where to report.
Smith, a left-hander who served as the Chants ace while posting a 2.51 earned-run average and 39 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings as a junior before undergoing Tommy John surgery in April, and Herb, a righty who went 22-9 with a 3.40 ERA over four seasons with the Chants, will hope to hear their names called Saturday.
So far, none of Coastal Carolinas incoming recruits have been drafted yet.
As for other local names of interest, former St. James High School teammates Gunnar Heidt (a shortstop at College of Charleston) and Tanner English (an outfielder at South Carolina) are likely to be drafted Saturday as well.
Contact RYAN YOUNG at 626-0318 or on Twitter @RyanYoungTSN.