Taylor Dollard selected in fifth round of 2020 MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners

Taylor Dollard selected in fifth round of 2020 MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners

UConn Cal Poly Baseball

Cal Poly pitcher Taylor Dollard (41) against Connecticut during an NCAA baseball game on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Taylor Dollard has kept the Cal Poly draft streak alive.

On Thursday, the junior right-hander was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the fifth round of the 2020 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

As the sixth player chosen in the fifth round and the 137th overall, Dollard maintained Cal Poly's streak of having at least one player drafted since 1999.

"I call every player on draft day as soon as we take them and he was probably the most excited," said Scott Hunter, the Mariners' director of scouting. "He even apologized for his language because he was so excited. He said, 'When can I go? When can I start working?' "

After two seasons as a relief pitcher, Dollard became the Mustangs' Friday night starter for his junior campaign and, in four starts, posted a 1-0 record and 1.67 ERA with 36 strikeouts over 27 innings.

In his first collegiate start on the mound, Dollard allowed two singles and struck out 10 over seven scoreless innings in a 5-0 victory over Connecticut at the MLB4 Tournament in Scottsdale, Ariz.

His other three starts were no-decisions.

Dollard struck out a career-high 12 in seven innings, allowing two runs and four hits against BYU, fanned nine in seven innings versus No. 5 Michigan and notched six strikeouts in six innings in Cal Poly's come-from-behind walk-off 2-1 win over Baylor.

Dollard posted a 5-0 win-loss record, 2.89 ERA and four saves as a sophomore en route to first-team All-Big West Conference honors and was 3-0 with three saves and a 2.43 ERA in 2018, his first season as a Mustang.

"We're going to send him out as a starter," said Hunter. "It was really amazing what he did in the Cape Cod League last year. He pitched two or three innings, hit 92 and 93 miles per hour and continued to strike everybody out. It was amazing to see his strikeout-to-walk rate.

"Then he went into this season and the same thing happened," Hunter added. "Even as a starter, he was still striking them all out and not walking anybody. With his stuff, he maintained the velocity and pure action to his offspeed pitches.

The draft was held at the Holland Center in Omaha, Neb., and was televised by ESPN, ESPN2 and MLB Network.

The Crespi Carmelite High School graduate was 9-0 with a 2.43 ERA and seven saves in his Mustang career, striking out 121 batters over 111 1/3 innings.

His career stats at Crespi included a 4-5 win-loss record, 3.64 ERA and 90 strikeouts over 100 innings. Dollard was not drafted out of high school.

"He's the type of kid that we really believe has that upside of being a Major League starter some day," said Hunter. "We've had some comparisons like from his summer league coach, Scott Pickler of Yarmouth-Dennis, who said Dollard reminded him of Shane Bieber. I'm not putting that kind of pressure on him to do that, but he's that kind of guy.

"He's just one of those unassuming college pitchers that has really good stuff across the board," Hunter added. "He might not light up the radar gun or people's first look, but when you look inside at what he's done over his career and where he could go, the strike throwing he does and the work ethic he has, we're excited at getting this kind of talent in the fifth round and see that kind of upside."

Another former Mustang -- outfielder Mitch Haniger -- has played for the Mariners since 2017.

The five-round draft began Wednesday at the Holland Center in Omaha, Neb., with the first 38 picks, covering the first round and Competitive Balance Round A. The second through fifth rounds were held Thursday.

There were a total of 160 picks in the 2020 draft. The draft usually runs 40 rounds but was shortened this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The signing deadline is August 1.

- This report was contributed by Eric Burdick, Cal Poly Associate Director of Athletics for Communications

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