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Baseball: Pinecrest alum Ryan McCarthy takes first step toward MLB draft
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Pinecrest Academy's Ryan McCarthy watches his eventual home run during a game against Gilmer in the 2017 season. - photo by Brian Paglia

Pinecrest Academy alum Ryan McCarthy took the first steps toward the MLB draft Monday, electing to play this summer for the Trenton Thunder of the MLB Draft League.

The MLB Draft League is in its second season after debuting in 2021, offering draft-eligible players a chance to showcase their talents ahead of next month's MLB draft. The Trenton Thunder won the league's inaugural championship last year.

McCarthy, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound outfielder, hit .311 [56-for-180] with eight home runs and 38 RBIs this season for The Citadel. McCarthy also converted 20 of his 21 stolen-base attempts, the second most in the Southern Conference this season.

The move ends McCarthy's career as a two-sport star at The Citadel after 25 games as a wide receiver with the Bulldogs' football team. He caught 22 passes for 421 yards and two touchdowns through three seasons after switching from quarterback halfway through his redshirt freshman season.

McCarthy elected to play baseball and football in college after a senior season at Pinecrest that saw him hit .458 on the diamond and account for 1,361 total yards and 17 touchdowns on the football field.