SECAUCUS, N.J. --- Two more College of Charleston Cougars received the phone call of a lifetime on Wednesday when seniors Dupree Hart (Rock Hill, S.C.) and Nathan Ocker (Middletown, Pa.) were selected on the third day of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
“I’m so happy for Nathan and Dupree,” said head coach Chad Holbrook. “Not only are they terrific players, but they are great kids. They have worked so hard in all aspects of their lives and they will always be awesome representatives of The College and our baseball program.”
Hart was the second Cougar off the board after being selected by the Washington Nationals in the 26th round with the 783rd overall pick. Ocker quickly followed suit when the Cleveland Indians snagged the Cougar closer with the 880th overall selection in the 29th round. The duo joins junior right-hander Griffin McLarty (Buckner, Ky.) who was selected by the Baltimore Orioles with the first pick of the eighth round yesterday. The Cougars’ three total draft picks this season are the program’s most since 2015.
Hart will go down as one of the best players to ever put on a College of Charleston uniform. The Rock Hill, S.C. native finished his career as the all-time leader in walks and ranked fourth in stolen bases, sixth in hits, eighth in sacrifices and 10th in runs scored. He was named the Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year in 2018 and posted a career fielding percentage of .975 in more than 1000 chances at second and center field.
The three-time All-CAA selection batted .305 with nine doubles, two home runs and a career-high 44 RBI’s as a senior while swiping a CAA-best 40 bags in the regular season. His 40 stolen bases this year rank eighth in the nation and place him second on the program’s single-season list. Hart owns a .292 lifetime batting average and is a former Freshman All-American in 2016.
“First I would like to thank God because I know without him, none of this is possible,” said Hart. “I would also like to thank my family, friends and all of Cougar Nation for their support. Last but not least I want to give a huge thank you to the coaching staff at the College of Charleston for all they have done for me and my teammates. Go Cougs!”
Ocker will forever be remembered as one of the most prolific relievers in program history after concluding his career ranked second all-time in saves (26), WHIP (0.97) and appearances (92). The Middletown, Pa. native also ranks third all-time in strikeouts per nine innings (10.24), sixth in strikeouts (215) and seventh in earned run average (3.00), and is second in CAA history in saves. He carries a 15-10 career record and has held opposing batters to a paltry .213 batting average in 189 innings pitched as a Cougar.
The 2019 All-CAA Second Team selection delivered a sensational senior season for the Cougars, collecting 12 saves to go along with a 2.45 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 47.2 innings. Ocker ranks 22nd in the nation in saves this season and his 30 appearances are good for sixth on the program’s single-season list. He accumulated 10 saves in 2018 and set a single-season record with an other-worldly WHIP of 0.72.