Michigan vs. Nebraska, 5.16

Matt Waldron was drafted in the 18th round of the 2019 MLB Draft on Wednesday by the Cleveland Indians. 

Matt Waldron's baseball career will continue in the pros.

The Nebraska senior pitcher was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 18th round of the Major League Baseball Draft on Wednesday. The Indians took him with the 550th pick.

Waldron was the only Husker player or recruit selected in the 40-round draft.

The Omaha Westside graduate was the Huskers' Friday pitching ace this season, and he helped lead the Huskers to the NCAA Tournament.

The right-hander was 6-4 with a 3.05 earned-run average. He struck out 93 batters over 100 1/3 innings and walked just seven. He was second in the country in strikeout-to-walk ratio (13.29). Waldron was at his best in Big Ten play, carrying a 2.78 ERA in league games.

"It was definitely relieving to know that and to be able to seal the deal," Waldron said on "Sports Nightly." "I'm just getting ready for that next process. I'm just glad it happened."

One of Waldron's best games came in his final appearance as a Husker. He struck out 11 in seven innings against Oklahoma State on Saturday in the Oklahoma City Regional.

"I truly don't think it hit me right away," Waldron said of the finish to NU's season and his college career. "I don't know why, but it just didn't. It took probably until I was on the bus back home, just like, 'Hey, I'm done.'

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"You see your teammates crying and then it started to hit you a little bit."

Nebraska has had a player drafted 27 straight years now. This marks the first time since 2013, and only the second time since 1987, that NU had only one player taken.

Peru State was represented during the final day of the draft. Senior pitcher Eddy Tavarez was selected in the 21st round by the Milwaukee Brewers.

The 6-foot-5 right-hander from the Dominican Republic was 6-4 with a 4.68 ERA this season. His ability to strike out batters likely appealed to the major-league scouts. He fanned 118 batters over 67 1/3 innings. He led the NAIA in opponent batting average (.146).

Sam Wibbels, a senior at Hastings High School, was selected in the 36th round by the Washington Nationals. The Kentucky recruit was one of the state's top pitchers this spring, earning first-team Super-State honors.

Three more Creighton Bluejays were drafted Wednesday. Pitcher Mitch Ragan went in the 15th round to the New York Mets, shortstop Jack Strunc was chosen in the 25th round by the Miami Marlins and pitcher Denson Hull went in the 28th round to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2639 or cgrell@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSSportsGrell.


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