Friday, December 17, 2004
Former OU baseball players go pro
By Rebecca Wyatt, OU Web Writer
One day last June, Oakland University pitcher Dominic Carmosino was at home listening to the Major League Baseball draft when he heard his name announced.
“It was unbelievable. I was at home by myself, and when I heard my name announced, I just screamed. I was very surprised,” said Carmosino, who was drafted by the Detroit Tigers and is assigned to the Oneonta (N.Y.) Tigers of the New York-Penn League.
Carmosino was not the only Oakland baseball player to be picked up in the draft. Kyle Boehm and Brad Morenko were selected in the 17th and 40th round by the Baltimore Orioles and the Cincinnati Reds respectively. John Sullivan signed with the Seattle Mariners as a free agent later in the summer. That brings the number of Golden Grizzlies to sign with professional teams since 1997 to 17.
The players began their professional careers playing for the organizations minor league teams. Carmosino was 0-0 at Oneonta with a 5.23 ERA. Boehm was 2-2 with a 5.14 ERA, playing for the Maryland-based Aberdeen IronBirds. Morenko joined the Billings Mustangs of the Pioneer League in Billings, Mont. He was 201 with a 4.03 ERA and four saves this season. Sullivan signed late in the year and has yet to play.
“I am very excited to have the opportunity to play at the professional level. It will be a great experience,” said Morenko. “This is all any college baseball player could ask for is their shot to play professional ball, and I’m lucky enough to be getting the opportunity.”
Baseball coach Mark Avery said that’s what his job is all about, helping the players achieve their dreams of being able to play baseball professionally.
“As a college baseball coach, my job is to academically ready and develop them to play baseball at another level,” Avery said, adding that the drafted players were all strong and will be hard to replace.
The players’ advancement to professional baseball also helps Avery in his recruiting of new players. He said having so many former players playing professional baseball and returning to alumni games and sharing experiences, it motivates the current players.
“With all the negative things going on in baseball, OU has a nice, respectable program right under our noses,” he said.
Avery follows all of his players in their professional career. He said in the summer he gets up every morning and checks on his former players games from the night before, and with so many of his players taking on professional careers, his list of scores to check keeps getting longer.
For more information on OU’s baseball team, visit the OU Athletics Web site.