The Fairfield Stags had a great season in 2017, finishing at 31-24 overall and 17-7 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play. Unfortunately, the Stags fell short against Marist College and Iona College in the MAAC tournament. One shining star for Fairfield University was their ace, Gavin Wallace ‘18.
The junior was drafted in the fifteenth round, 448th overall, of the 2017 MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates, which is an accomplishment to be chosen by such a team. He joins his brother, Mike, who was also drafted by the Pirates back in 2015. “When it first happened, I was in a shock,” said Wallace. He added, “it’s been a dream of mine since the day I picked up a baseball for the first time, so for it to become a reality was just a surreal feeling.”
The Madison, New Jersey native proved his case to be the highest Stag chosen in the MLB draft since 1979 with his sixth best earned run average in program history with a 3.58 and having the best season of his career with six complete games in 2017. He displayed one of the most commanding seasons in Fairfield history, which involved eight victories and four shutouts.
The New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association Pitcher of the Year always wanted to fulfill his dream as a professional baseball player and he has a perfect opportunity to do that. If he signs, Wallace would join the sixth best farm system in the MLB, ranked by Baseball America. He would also join his brother, Mike, a former Stag, which would fulfill his dream of playing with his older brother.
“It was an incredible feeling, I’ve always chose to play with him at Madison High School and then Fairfield. So to ‘randomly’ end up on the same pro team is pretty special. It’s something that I won’t take for granted. Hopefully we end up on the same team at some point,” said the Stags ace.
The 6-foot-5-inch hurler earned many accolades during his junior season. He earned the honor of being the Fairfield University Male Athlete of the Year, a member of All-MAAC First Team along with being the first Stag in program history to win a major award from the NEIBA. Gavin Wallace certainly made a case to be Fairfield’s ace and he collected many accomplishments to back up his status and draft stock.
“I wasn’t expecting the Pirates to draft me. I knew it was a possibility but based off the amount of contact I had with them, I didn’t think I would end up a Pirate,” said Wallace. One thing is for sure — the Pittsburgh Pirates made Wallace’s dream come true by calling his name and being the same organization that drafted his older brother as well. The ace is sure to take advantage of this opportunity, if he signs in the coming future. The Bucs want to bolster their farm system with dominant pitching and the junior does just that. His journey to the majors most seemingly starts now for the Fairfield Male Athlete of the Year.