Luke Heimlich not picked up in Major League Baseball draft

Oregon State starter Luke Heimlich pitches to an LSU batter during an NCAA college baseball tournament regional game in Corvallis Ore. Saturday

Heimlich has since returned to the team and has had a stellar senior season.

The specter of criticism spooked a number of executives from putting Heimlich on their draft boards in the first place.

Despite his guilty plea as a 15-year-old, Heimlich in recent weeks has denied that he ever molested the girl, telling The New York Times that "nothing ever happened" and also proclaiming his innocence in a Sports Illustrated report published last month.

Luke Heimlich, a pitcher for Oregon State and two-time Pac-12 pitcher of the year, is widely regarded as one of the best prospects in the nation.

Despite being such a solid pitcher, Heimlich dropped in the draft this year and last year because he pleaded guilty to child molestation in Washington in 2012.

More than 1,200 players were picked in this year's 40-round draft. His coach, Pat Casey, opined that his star pitcher would be a very high Major League Baseball draft pick, but Heimlich may have to try to sign with an independent team to keep his career going after OSU is done competing this month in the NCAA playoffs.

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"I'm appalled that the college he's going to would even have him on their team".

The victim's mother told the Times that "there is no way he didn't do it", noting that her daughter provided "very specific" accounts of the abuse.

Since returning to the team this year, Heimlich has won 15 games for the Beavers and set the all-time record for most strikeouts at Oregon State. Additionally, Heimlich entered a diversion program, attended sex offender treatment for two years and registered as a Level 1 sex offender meaning he was the lowest risk to the community and his likelihood to re-offend was considered minimal, according to The Oregonian.

Heimlich told Kurt Streeter of the New York Times he did not molest his niece, saying "nothing ever happened".

Heimlich pitched seven innings, giving up six hits and striking out three, to pick up the win Saturday night as Oregon State routed LSU 14-1 in the Corvallis Regional. He told Sports Illustrated he pleaded guilty because he and his parents decided it would be best for the family.

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