BINGHAMTON, N.Y - Anthony Kay sat in the backseat of the coach bus early Saturday afternoon and looked out the window, contemplating his Ward Melville High School baseball team's 2-0 loss to Baldwinsville in the state baseball semifinals. The bus ride remained eerily quiet for most of the four-hour bus ride back to Long Island.
Then the despair turned to happiness after cell phones and iPads began to buzz with the news that the Mets had selected Kay in the 29th round of the major-league amateur draft. Teammates jumped from their seats and congratulated him.
Most popular baseball stories
As the bus rolled down Route 17, Ward Melville coach Lou Petrucci made an announcement over the speakers. Kay joined Petrucci in the front of the bus, his frown now turned to a smile.
"It's great, and now we have to decide what to do," said Kay, a 5-11, 170-pound lefty. "Do I go to UConn or sign with the Mets? It's pretty cool to realize a dream and have this opportunity."
Patriots assistant coach Ron Muscarella gave him his first signing bonus, a box of chocolate chip cookies.
"We are so happy for him," Petrucci said. "He did everything to help turn Ward Melville into something special. He holds 17 pitching records at the school. He was awesome and this is wonderful."
There also was joy in Ronkonkoma, where St. John's junior righthander James Lomangino was selected in the 14th round with the 431st pick by Oakland.
"I'm not sure what I'm going to do," said Lomangino, who played for Connetquot. "It's an honor to be selected by a major- league organization and I'm really excited about it. It's a feeling I can't explain. I'll let it soak in for a while and decide what to do over the next few days and see if I'll sign or go back to St. John's for my senior year."
The Red Storm struggled this season with a 22-36 record and Lomangino's role changed from closer in the College World Series as a sophomore to the Friday night starter.
Lomangino, a 6-foot, 205-pounder, finished with a 2-6 record and a 3.40 ERA with a fastball that sat between 92 and 94 mph. His competitiveness and aggressive style of pitching had scouts interested. He developed his off-speed pitch and had better command this year.
The Texas Rangers selected Holbrook's Joe Palumbo (Long Island Black Sox) in the 30th round with the 910th overall pick.