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Pawelczyk taken in third round

by Greg Talkington

SPORTS WRITER

Former Elkins standout pitcher Kyle Pawelczyk was the second West Virginian chosen in Tuesday's Major League Baseball Draft, going to the Anaheim Angels in the third round.

Pawelczyk, a 6-foot-6, 180-pound left-hander, was the 84th player chosen in the draft which will conclude today.

Neither Bridgeport's Mike Honce nor any of his state high school brethren were chosen during the first 22 rounds.

Pawelczyk, who has already signed with Louisiana State after a stellar season with Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Florida, said he's unsure of what he'll do.

"The Angels haven't made any type of offer yet," Pawelcyzk said from his parents' home in Elkins Tuesday afternoon. "I guess it will come down to how much money is offered.

"Money for players last year was in the $400,000 range."

Pawelczyk has contacted his agents, Don Mitchell and Wally Whitehurst of Gaames, Inc., of Louisiana.

Palweczyk's fastball regularly hits in the 88-to-93 miles-per-hour range and he's improved his curve ball and changeup.

Former Parkersburg two-sport star Nick Swisher, a first baseman at Ohio State, was the first Mountain State native chosen, going to the Oakland Athletics in the first round with the 17th pick. He's the first state native to go in the first round since his father, Steve, in 1973.

The elder Swisher had a long career in the big leagues with the Chicago Cubs as a catcher. They comprise just the third father-son combination ever to be drafted in the first round.

Others with West Virginia ties going on the first day include West Virginia University pitchers Joe Van Gorder (St. Louis) and Dustin Nippert (Arizona), West Virginia State outfielder David Smith (Toronto) and Swisher's ex-high school teammate Nick Carter (Milwaukee), who plays at Campbell University in North Carolina.

Surprisingly, WVU pitcher Billy Biggs of Hurricane was not chosen ahead of his two teammates, but will likely go today.

Sports writer Greg Talkington can be reached at 626-1444 or by e-mail at gtalkington@exponent-telegram.com

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