Former Northwestern State standout Heath called up to Kansas City

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Nick Heath, Royals

NATCHITOCHES – For the first time in 13 years, a Northwestern State baseball alumnus is on a Major League Baseball roster.

Outfielder Nick Heath, the program’s single-season stolen base record holder, was recalled by Kansas City on Tuesday ahead of the Royals’ 6:10 p.m. game at Detroit.

Heath, a 16th-round selection by the Royals in the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, becomes the fifth former Northwestern State student-athlete to reach the majors, following Lawrence (2001-07), Robert Ellis (1996, 2001-03), Lee Smith (1980-97) and Jim Willis (1953-54).

Smith was a former NSU basketball player who became a Hall of Fame closer while Lawrence was a mainstay of the San Diego Padres rotation in the early 2000s. Ellis won a career-best six games for the 2001 World Series champion Arizona Diamondbacks.

A Junction City, Kansas, product, Heath established the school single-season stolen base record of 35 in the 2016 season, earning third-team All-Southland Conference honors before being drafted by the Royals.

His 35 steals placed him in a tie for sixth nationally. In his three-year Demon career, Heath swiped 75 bases, a mark that stands third in school history.

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