CONWAY - The Boston Red Sox called University of Central Arkansas senior Forrestt Allday's name in the eighth round of the Major League Baseball Draft on Friday, the 233rd pick overall.
Allday, a first-team All-Southland Conference right fielder and the SLC Tournament Most Valuable Player, is the highest UCA draftee since Marquis Riley went in the second round (67th overall) in 1992. Allday is UCA's second draft pick since moving to NCAA Division I in 2007, joining pitcher Dustin Ward in 2011.
"It actually caught me by surprise,' said Allday. "I was on the phone with another team when my name came up on the screen.
"We kind of had an idea before the draft who was interested, but it's really a very hectic process once it starts. But it's really awesome and I like the way it turned out. It's definitely a dream come true.'
"I'm just so happy for Forrestt. It just shows that good things come to those that work hard,' said UCA head coach Allen Gum. "His name fits him, no question... Allday, everyday. He got better in every phase of the game. He increased his power, increased his speed, increased his arm. It's great to see him recognized because he's a tremendous baseball player. We were blessed and fortunate to have him as a part of our program.
Gum said the scouts like everything about Allday, but particularly his work ethic.
"I think just his overall consistency,' said Gum. "They love his bat. They think his bat is going to play on every level. They like the consistency in his plate discipline. He throws well, he defends well. He's just one heck of a baseball player.'
Allday ranked in the top 5 in the Southland in nearly every offensive category, including first in runs scored (59), on-base percentage (.503) and walks (53). The righthander from Friendswood, Texas, was second in hits (85), third in batting average (.365) and total bases (110) and fifth in stolen bases (15). His on-base percentage ranks fifth in the nation, while he is 16th in walks and 30th in runs scored in NCAA Division I.
Allday, who transferred to UCA from Alvin Community College, started 113 of his 114 career games as a Bear, with 143 career hits and 106 career walks and a career batting average of .356.
"It's big for our program,' said Gum. "It shows other players that you can come here and get drafted. It's not necessarily where you're at, it's who you are and who you are around and how hard you work. You can some here and not only be drafted, but drafted high.'
Allday was a second-team All-SLC selection in 2012 and a first-team pick in 2013. He helped the No. 25 Bears to a school-record 42 victories this season, a Southland Conference Tournament championship and a runnerup finish in the NCAA Starkville Regional earlier this week.