Schulfer selected by Twins in MLB Draft
Plover native and former Stevens Point Area Senior High School (SPASH) pitcher Austin Schulfer was chosen by the Minnesota Twins in the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft Wednesday, June 6.
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) senior right-hander was selected by the Twins in the 19th Round of the three-day draft with the 574th overall pick.
“It is a dream come true to be able to compete with guys who are trying to do the same thing,” said Schulfer. “To be able to walk the same lines as some of the greats and the Hall of Famers, and to be able to do that for a great organization like the Twins in Minnesota is obviously something I have dreamt about for some time – I could not be happier being a Twin.”
“It’s been fun to watch Austin’s growth over his time here,” said UWM baseball head coach Scott Doffek. “He came in as a real skinny kid with a live arm who just threw the ball. He has worked his tail off to become a pitcher.
“I know he will do an outstanding job of representing the Twins organization on and off the field,” he said. “We could not be happier for him.”
In high school, Schulfer broke into the starting rotation for SPASH as a sophomore and helped the Panthers reach the WIAA Division 1 State Tournament three years in a row.
He pitched in three consecutive State Tournaments from 2012 through 2014, and in the 2013 State Semifinals, struck out 12 and allowed two earned runs on three hits over six innings to earn the victory in a 14-5 win over Bay Port to send eventual State Runner-up SPASH to the State Championship Game.
Schulfer was an Honorable Mention All-State selection by the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association and a Unanimous First Team All-Wisconsin Valley Conference (WVC) selection as a senior after he went 4-0 with a 0.00 ERA in conference play, with five hits allowed in 22 innings pitched in the WVC.
He also was a standout for the Plover Black Sox American Legion baseball team during the summer, and helped the Black Sox finish as the State Runner-up in 2013 and earn a trip to the National Regional.
The following summer, he helped lead the Black Sox to the 2014 AAA State Title in his final season, as they made their second consecutive trip to the National Regional, where they finished as the Runner-up.
Despite a fastball that reached the 90s, Schulfer went undrafted out of high school, and accepted a scholarship offer to play baseball at NCAA Division 1 UWM.
At UWM, Schulfer went 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 44 innings pitched as a freshman, as he was named to the Horizon League All-Freshman Team in 2015.
He went 2-4 with a 7.24 ERA as a sophomore in 2016, then as a junior in 2017, he finished seventh in the Horizon League with six wins and 70 strikeouts, and eighth in the conference with a 3.72 ERA, while he tied the school record with 13 strikeouts in a game.
Schulfer served as the ace for UWM this season as a senior, as he was 6-5 with a 2.96 ERA, with 87 strikeouts in a team-high 91 and 1/3 innings.
He set a UWM single-game record with 15 strikeouts in an 8-4 win over Northern Kentucky April 6, as he walked none and allowed two earned runs on five hits in seven innings, and went on to earn First Team All-Horizon League honors after he finished fourth in the conference in wins, third in innings pitched and third in strikeouts.
In his final college start, he struck out two, walked one and allowed four hits in five shutout innings to earn the victory in a 13-1 win over Northern Kentucky in the Horizon League Tournament May 23, as he broke the UWM career strikeout mark of 239 and finished his four-year career with a school record 241 strikeouts.
The son of Ryan and Jessica Schulfer of Plover, he became the seventh UWM baseball player to be selected in the MLB Draft in the last four years, and the 38th in school history.