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Draft-Eligible Players Torn Between Future, Super Regionals

CORAL GABLES, Fla.—Playing in the super regionals is always a clash of now and later for some players. The now was simple: win two games and go on to the College World Series. The later was trickier: draft-eligible players surely had a pro future on their minds as games went on.

The Coral Gables super regional was a case in point.

Seven Miami players and five Boston College players were drafted—in fact BC’s Saturday starter Mike King found out after the first inning that the Marlins called his name in the 12th round.

King didn’t seem fazed. He struck out the side in the second inning and went on to earn BC’s first-ever super regional win.

“A bunch of my teammates came and congratulated me,” King said. “It put a smile on my face and made me a little bit more relaxed.”

The issue of whether the players should even be paying attention to the draft while an important game—one of the biggest in BC history—was ongoing is another matter.

Boston College coach Mike Gambino said he’s not “smart enough” to know if the draft should go somewhere else” on the calendar. The one thing Gambino knows for sure is that he cannot hope to change the reality of the draft.

“Nowadays with social media, it is hard,” Gambino said. “In the past, a coach could have said, ‘We’ll talk about it after the game.’ But that’s just not going to happen now.

“We didn’t even address it. The (players) are going to find out however they find out. It’s cool to watch these guys get drafted. We were sitting there (during Saturday’s three-hour rain delay when third baseman Joe Cronin’s) name got called. … It’s exciting.”

There was real drama in the super regionals this weekend—a walk-off grand slam for UC Santa Barbara for example. But while teams are fighting to reach Omaha, players are waiting for their pro futures to be decided, and sometimes the divergence can be overwhelming.

“It’s unbelievable,” King said of getting drafted. “I was very happy to hear my name get called, but I haven’t processed it yet.”

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