After a quiet few rounds for Long Island hopefuls in the Major League Baseball amateur draft, three names lit up the ninth round Friday.
The first to be selected was righthanded pitcher Brian Hunter of Port Jefferson and the University of Hartford. He was picked by Cincinnati with the 275th pick. Hunter (6-3, 210 pounds), who graduated from St. John the Baptist High School, converted from catcher to pitcher in college. He was 4-8 with a 4.13 ERA and had 64 strikeouts in 802/3 innings.
Tampa Bay selected Oklahoma City University righty Chris Pike of Water Mill with the 277th pick. Pike (6-foot, 175), who graduated from Southampton High School, made national headlines when he threw a perfect game and followed that performance with a no-hitter this season. He finished 10-3 with eight complete games, a 1.89 ERA with 18 walks and 125 strikeouts in 902/3 innings. Opposing hitters batted only .182 against him.
"I was nervous sitting around all day," Pike said. "I'm happy it's over and so excited about the future with Tampa Bay. I didn't sleep a whole lot [Thursday] night. This is something you dream about since you're a little kid and when it happens, it kind of knocks you out. It's awesome."
Kevin Krause (6-2, 200), a catcher at Stony Brook University, was selected by Pittsburgh with the 281st pick. He batted .354 with 70 hits, eight homers and 51 RBIs this year, leading the Seawolves into the America East Conference championship series. He was the conference player of the year.