Local roundup: Three local players selected in MLB Draft
Three players with local ties were selected Saturday on the final day of Major League Baseball's annual draft.
Tom Gavitt, the former Wheeler High School standout, was selected in the 19th round (582nd overall) by the Oakland Athletics, Zach Albin, a right-handed pitcher from UConn-Avery Point was taken in the 20th round (601st overall) by the Baltimore Orioles and Willie Rios, a left-hander pitcher from St. Bernard School, went in the 26th round (780th overall) by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Gavitt, who just completed his senior season at Bryant University, is a catcher and first baseman. He batted .320 with 29 RBI, 30 runs scored, eight doubles, four triples and six home runs. Gavitt, a 2010 Wheeler graduate, played two seasons at the Community College of Rhode Island before transferring to Bryant.
Albin, who had planned to continue his career at Division II Barry University of Florida, will sign with the Orioles sometime next week according to Avery Point coach Roger Bidwell. Albin, from Bethel, was 5-3 for the Pointers this season but caught the attention of scouts with a breakout freshman season in 2013.
"I'm really excited for him. I knew he had pro potential,'' said Bidwell. "He pitched well for the Mystic Schooners last year too. He's worked really hard and he's been a pleasure to have in the program. He's been a great role model for our young pitchers."
Rios, who lives in Waterford, was one of the Eastern Connecticut Conference's most dominant pitchers. He went 9-1 as a junior with a 1.60 ERA and was even better this season for the Saints, finishing 6-0 with a 1.08 ERA while averaging 14 strikeouts per start.
The 5-foot-11, 190 pounder was scheduled to meet with Arizona scouts on Saturday night, according to St. Bernard coach George Rivera, and must decide whether to sign or accept a scholarship offer to play Division I baseball at the University of Maryland, which is one win away from earning a berth in the Division I College World Series. The Terrapins will become members of the Big Ten Conference next season.
"Plan B is not a bad choice and I always told him that," Rivera said. "If (the family) can't work out a deal with the Diamondbacks, he has a full ride to a Big Ten school where he can get a great education and play baseball."
The top two Connecticut high school players selected are UConn commits. Zack Risendorf, a catcher from Northwestern Regional in Winsted, was taken in the sixth round (177th overall) by the San Diego Padres and Marvin Gorgas, a right-handed pitcher from East Hampton, went in the 13th round (381st overall) to the Seattle Mariners.
Shortstop Tom Verdi, who just completed his senior season at UConn, was drafted in the 33rd round (981st overall) by Seattle.
H.S. girls' tennis
• Three local players won first round matches in the State Open before losing in the second round. ECC champion Sophia Shi of East Lyme, St. Bernard's Michaela Abate and Old Lyme's Meredith Aird each went 1-1 in the singles competition while Ledyard's Olivia Lyon lost in the first round and Ledyard's Mandy Wong, East Lyme's Melinda Li, Waterford's Nisha Rajamohan, St. Bernard's Kathryn McKinley, Stonington's Hannah Fabianski and Waterford's Lauren Rahr lost in the preliminary round.
In doubles, Old Lyme's Hannah O'Brien and Emily Brault won in the first round before falling in the second while St. Bernard's Anna McKinley-Katherine Matthews won in the preliminary round but lost in the first round. Fitch's Emma Nelson-Jingyi Huang, Waterford's Jessica Hudson-Katherine Lewis and St. Bernard's Alexa Massad-Brittney Walenta lost in the first round while Old Lyme's Hannah Behringer-Cooper Kotzan and Waterford's Phoebe Lee-Alyssa Serafino lost in the preliminary round.
• The Mystic Schooners lost their home opener, falling to the Plymouth Pilgrims 5-2 in a New England Collegiate Baseball League game at Fitch High School. Former Fitch standout Aaron Hill (UConn) was 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and two RBI and Brad Zunica (Miami) had two hits and scored a run for Mystic (1-1).
Former Waterford High School standout Nolan Long (Wagner) took the loss for Mystic, allowing three hits and four runs (only one was earned) over four innings. Long struck out seven with four walks.
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