UWM student and Wisconsin native Austin Schulfer is the newest member of the Panther baseball family to make the jump to the professional ranks.
The Minnesota Twins drafted him in the 19th round of the 2018 MLB Draft on June 6. It’s the earliest a UWM pitcher has been selected since Justin Langley was drafted in the 16th round of the 2015 draft by the Miami Marlins.
Schulfer, who was watching the draft with his dad, Ryan, and his girlfriend, Elizabeth Grusecki, told the Steven Point Journal that he got emotional when his name was called.
“It was really exciting to be with family and my girlfriend,” Schulfer said. “(Elizabeth) was crying and really excited. I was trying to hold back tears. It’s been something I’ve been working so hard and so long for. I can’t describe the feeling.”
The only Panther selected this year, Schulfer finished his collegiate career with a bang. He led the 2018 team with 87 strikeouts. That set his career total in black and gold at 241 – eclipsing the Panthers’ previous career strikeout record of 239. Along the way, he set a new club record with 15 strikeouts in a game on April 6 at Northern Kentucky. He broke his own strikeouts-in-a-game record in the process; Schulfer and five others held the previous record of 13. He also led the 2018 team in wins and innings pitched with six and 91.1 respectively.
His next step will be attending Twins’ rookie orientation. There, he will most likely sign his first professional contract and be assigned to his first minor league affiliate team.