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Orioles select Bazzani in 31st round of MLB draft

RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University junior right-hander Anthony Bazzani was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday in the 31st round and as the 942nd overall pick of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Bazzani is the 11th EKU baseball player to be drafted since 2002 and the second this season, as senior shortstop Richie Rodriguez was taken in the ninth round by the New York Mets on Tuesday.

“Anthony is certainly a guy with a high ceiling,” EKU head coach Jason Stein said. “With that high ceiling, his future in baseball looks extremely bright. We’re very happy for Anthony and his family. This is a day he’ll never forget.”

The 6-4, 200-pound Bazzani was instrumental as the closer on this year’s Ohio Valley Conference regular season co-champion EKU baseball team. With his fastball hovering around the mid-90s, Bazzani led the Colonel pitching staff with 27 appearances, compiling a record of 1-1 with a 3.40 ERA and eight saves. Five of those saves came against OVC competition, as the Colonels compiled a school-record 19 conference wins. Opposing batters hit just .268 against the hard-throwing right-hander.

The native of Stockbridge, Ga. was a weekend starter for EKU in 2010 and was named to the OVC All-Freshman Team after leading the Colonel staff with a 5-3 record, 5.47 ERA, 77.1 innings pitched and a .282 opponent batting average. He was second on the team with 41 strikeouts and he finished seventh in the OVC with just 9.78 hits allowed per game. In EKU’s opening game of the 2010 OVC Tournament, Bazzani stifled Murray State over eight innings, allowing just three earned runs while striking out 10 batters.

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