Two Spartans become professional baseball pitchers in two days

Local Sports

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – After what looked like a 2021 Major League Baseball draft without a single Michigan State baseball player being drafted, Mason Erla was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the 17th round on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday afternoon, the news broke that fellow MSU pitcher Sam Benschoter signed with the Cincinnati Reds as an undrafted free agent.

Our 6 Sports team spoke with Erla on Wednesday morning and he shared that during the moment where he got drafted and his prayers were answered by the Angels, he and his wife had a little fun with his parents.

“So my mom and dad were actually in the living room, they had the draft tracker from their website pulled up on the TV,” said Erla. “Me and my wife were actually sitting in the kitchen at the kitchen table, I was just texting back and forth with my advisor and he said ‘hey they make take you here.’ Sure enough, they did, so mom and dad actually didn’t…I was trying to keep it kind of a surprise for them so they could see it on TV. Me and my wife were sitting at the table kinda giggling back and forth cause my parents actually thought a different team was going to take me and then that kinda popped up on them unexpectedly so kind of a cool thing.”

As for the celebration, Erla’s phone wouldn’t stop ringing as he and his family stepped out for the evening but it wasn’t a huge party with a ton of people because for Erla that’s not his style.

“For the first couple hours, it was the most my phone’s blown up in probably my entire life, especially cause I don’t text and stuff that often really, I mean besides for family,” said Erla. “Other than that it was pretty laid back, nothing too exciting went out to get ice cream with the family.”

For MSU head coach Jake Boss, he couldn’t be prouder of his now-former starting pitcher.

“I think it’s awesome you know he’s worked his tail off and he deserves the opportunity and I’m glad he’s gonna have it now,” said Boss. “He’s got a foot in the foot and this point…who knows what happens hopefully he can progress quickly and there’s certainly no guarantees. He’s gonna have no regrets I think when it’s all over. There’s no question that Mason is ready for pro ball.”

Stick with 6 Sports for continued coverage of all of the former Michigan State Spartans playing professional baseball.

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