As Old Mill senior Josh Hader was driving toward Camden Yards yesterday, he was thinking about the news conference for the 31st annual Brooks Robinson All-Star game that he was about to attend at the warehouse.
"Then my phone rang and it was a friend of my dad's calling, telling me I'd been drafted by the Orioles," Hader said. "I didn't believe him. I thought he was playing a joke. After I hung up, the phone rang again and it was Dean [Albany, Orioles' regional scout] telling me I really had been drafted.
"I didn't know what to say. I was speechless. But now; Wow! I'm an Oriole. It's unbelievable and overwhelming."
It's been quite a week for the 18-year-old lefthanded pitcher. He graduated Tuesday, got drafted in the 19th round Wednesday by his hometown team and Sunday he'll play at Oriole Park following the Orioles-Phillies game as a member of the Brooks Robinson South All-Stars. Rosters for the South and North teams were introduced during Wednesday's news conference. The Brooks Robinson game is the only All-Star game in Maryland that features the best senior players from each region of the state.
During the season, Hader was 10-0, with an 0.39 ERA. Last week he was invited to work out for the Orioles and the Miami Marlins. Now drafted, he said his No. 1 priority is to get signed.
"I'm really happy for him," South River senior Nick Sia said before asking to have his picture taken with Hader. "He was a relative nobody at the start of the season. He came out of nowhere. It shows how far hard work can take you. But I got a hit off him during the season, I didn't strike out. And he was drafted before Ryan Ripken [who was taken in the 20th round by the Orioles]."
Besides Hader and Sia, other local players selected for the South team include: Jack Wood, North Caroline; Ryan Meisinger, Northern; Brandon O'Malley, Northeast; Billy Plante, Quince Orchard; Zach Keeler, North Point; Sean Miller, Archbishop Spalding; and Alex Lipman, Quince Orchard; Steven Farrell, Parkside; Nick Freeberger, Archbishop Spalding; Tyler Thomas, Elkton; Eric Ramsey, Georgetown Prep; Sean Van Geison, Rockville; and Cody Acker, Blake.
Area players for the North team include: Brandon Casas, Gilman; Kevin Mooney, North Harford; JT Root, North Hagerstown; Lee Lawler, Reservoir; Nick Payne, Mount St. Joseph; Nick Rabat, Middletown; Zach Lucas, Williamsport; Tyler Beckwith, Linganore; Raul Shah, Mount Hebron; Lee Lipinski, Calvert Hall; Brady Maguire, North Harford; Alex Pastorius, Calvert Hall; Michael Austin, Century; LaMonte Wade, St. Paul's; and Conner Myers, Middletown.
The Maryland State Association of Baseball Coaches also introduced Team Maryland, the players who will represent the state at the 2012 Heartland Baseball Classic in Norman, Okla., June 19-23. The local players on that team are: Bobby Schultz, Saint Michaels; Travis Phelps, Thomas Johnson; Brian Smith, Frederick; Mooney; Kevin Moylan, DeMatha; Root, North Hagerstown; Chase Brewis, Riverdale Baptist; O'Malley; Kirk Haynes, Mount St. Joseph; Abel Arocho, Old Mill; Wood, North Caroline; Payne; Zachary Howeth, Saint Michaels; Andrew Yacyk, North Hagerstown; Brady Maguire, North Harford; Tyler Thomas, Elkton; Jeff Patti, Hereford; and Robert Donald, Dulaney.