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Nine more locals drafted on final day

BASEBALL: Five UC Irvine players among those tabbed Friday, the second and final day of Major League draft.

June 07, 2008|By Barry Faulkner

Nine players with local ties, including five representing UC Irvine, were selected Friday, the second and final day of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Joining UCI Junior All-American pitcher Scott Gorgen, who was taken in the fourth round (125th overall) Thursday by the St. Louis Cardinals, UCI juniors Ollie Linton and Ben Orloff, redshirt sophomore Bryce Stowell, senior Aaron Lowenstein and junior Tony Asaro were also selected.

Cal State Fullerton standouts Erik Komatsu, a junior who began his collegiate career at Vanguard University, and Adam Jorgenson, a senior pitcher who played three seasons at Costa Mesa High, were other locals selected.

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In addition, Newport Beach resident Shane Boras, a senior second baseman at JSerra High, was tabbed, as was Golden West College sophomore pitcher Justin La Tempa, who spent one season at UCI.

Linton, a second-team All-Big West Conference performer, was taken in the 13th round, 408th overall, by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Heading into the Anteaters’ best-of-three Super Regional against host LSU, beginning today at 3 p.m., Linton was hitting .323 with four home runs, 35 RBIs and a school single-season record 39 stolen bases.

“I’m excited,” Linton, who also owns the school career stolen base record with 68, said after a workout at LSU’s Alex Box Stadium Friday. “I’ve been waiting patiently and I got my call today and my emotions went wild. I got that gorilla off my back, so I can relax a little bit more. That gorilla was just pounding away and it feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I’m no longer trying to impress. Right now, I’ve just got to relax, play my game and take care of business here.”

Orloff, a first-team all-conference performer was taken in the 19th round (587th) by the Colorado Rockies.

Orloff, who has played every inning of every game during his current streak of 151 consecutive starts, is hitting .344 with 21 RBIs and 19 steals. Typically hitting in the No. 2 spot, Orloff led the nation in sacrifices his first two seasons and ranks No. 9 in that category this season. He also is one of the top fielding shortstops in college baseball with just five errors and a .982 fielding percentage.

“It’s your dream growing up to one day play professional baseball and getting drafted is a dream come true,” Orloff said.

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