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Stony Brook's Jankowski, four others taken in MLB draft

Stony Brook's Travis Jankowski was drafted 44th overall

Stony Brook's Travis Jankowski was drafted 44th overall by the San Diego Padres in the MLB first-year player draft. (June 2, 2012) Credit: AP

The celebrations just keep coming for Stony Brook University's baseball team. Moments after the Seawolves beat Central Florida late Monday in the Coral Gables Regional, word came that centerfielder Travis Jankowski was the 44th overall choice of the Padres in the Major League Baseball first-year player draft.

On Tuesday, catcher Pat Cantwell of West Islip was taken in the third round by the Texas Rangers, for whom former SBU pitcher Joe Nathan is the closer.

"It was unbelievable," second baseman Maxx Tissenbaum said. "We were waiting for coach [Matt Senk] to finish up his press conference, standing outside the bus, when [Jankowski] got that phone call, everybody went crazy. It was almost as big a celebration as what happened on the field.''

Tissenbaum was picked by the Padres in the 11th round as the Seawolves were flying to Baton Rouge Tuesday to face LSU in the Super Regionals. Shortly thereafter, third baseman Willie Carmona was selected by the Phillies in the 11th round and pitcher James Campbell went to the Dodgers in the 12th.

Jankowski, a junior who is hitting .417, was elated. "That was by far the greatest experience I've ever had," he said. "To win a regional as the fourth seed and find out after the game that you are getting drafted 44th overall, it was incredible. Words don't describe how exciting and perfect that entire day was.''

Jankowski, 6-3 and 190, was an outstanding high school football player in Lancaster, Pa. He was deemed too slight of build for major-college football and Stony Brook was the only Division I school to offer him a baseball scholarship. "I probably had very little to no thought that one day this would all happen," he said. "I took it one step at a time and it kind of fell into place."

Jankowski could earn a signing bonus close to $1 million.

"They haven't given me a number yet, I don't know too much about anything," he said. "San Diego's almost like a resort. I couldn't be happier about the location.''

As for Cantwell, Senk termed the 6-1, 205-pounder "easily one of the best baseball players I've ever coached. His makeup is off the charts, he has skills everywhere." Cantwell is hitting .312.

Stony Brook will meet LSU and highly acclaimed righthanded pitcher Kevin Gausman, who was selected fourth overall by the Orioles. The best-of-three series starts Friday and the winner advances to the College World Series.

St. John's had four players selected: leftfielder Jeremy Baltz (Padres) in the second round, shortstop Matt Wessinger (Rockies) in the fifth, pitcher Matt Carasiti (Rockies) in the sixth and pitcher Kyle Hansen of Glen Cove (White Sox) in the sixth. Hofstra outfielder Danny Poma, who hit .430 and stole 29 bases, was picked by the Diamondbacks in the 10th round.

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