Decision day for Magleby

Orioles draft Del Oro star, but he says he’ll probably stick with football
By: Eric J. Gourley Journal Sports Writer
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The Baltimore Orioles drafted Mason Magleby in the 41st round of Thursday’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, but the recent Del Oro High graduate doesn’t have any plans to sign a baseball contract. Magleby committed in January to a full-ride football scholarship at University of Nevada-Reno after passing for 1,863 yards and nine touchdowns during a stellar fall quarterbacking the Golden Eagles. That was a few months before Magleby turned in a dominant season on the mound. After putting up decent numbers in 42 innings as a junior, he added velocity to his fastball and went 6-3 with a 2.31 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 63 2/3 innings this spring. “We talked about it a lot and I think he’s fortunate to be able to have an option to do either one,” head baseball coach Bret Lachemann said. “It’s a hard decision as an 18-year-old to try to decide to pick one or the other. I know he’s really happy with the way his baseball season went on one hand and on the other hand he’s happy he was able to earn the scholarship for football.” Pledging his allegiance to the gridiron at Nevada naturally dashed the interest of many baseball scouts. “A lot of teams stayed away,” said Magleby, who was enjoying an afternoon in Santa Cruz with friends Thursday. “I was getting a lot of calls during football season about baseball because I had gone to a bunch of showcases and I was getting a bunch of contact. They kind of shied away from me after the football commitment.” Even after tossing a no-hitter against Oak Ridge in Del Oro’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoff opener last month, Magleby, overall pick No. 1226 in this year’s draft, was surprised. “You think about it as a kid so it’s kind of a surreal thing when a team calls you and says, ‘Hey, we drafted you,’” he said. Lachemann believes Magleby is the first baseball player in school history to be drafted out of Del Oro. Pitcher Mark McLemore, the only former Golden Eagle to play in the majors, was drafted in the fourth round of the 2002 draft out of Oregon State University. McLemore is currently working back from injury with the Round Rock Express, the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros. “Obviously Mason has to decide which one’s more fun for him but I also think you have to kind of decide which one could end up being something he could do, or which one he could play longer,” Lachemann said. “I don’t know. He could be a professional football player some day.” The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Magleby will redshirt for the Wolf Pack under junior starter and Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year Colin Kaepernick, who was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in Thursday’s 43rd round despite a four-year absence from the diamond. Magleby will be in Reno a few days a week until the first day of July, when he’s officially allowed to move in. “It’s tough to think that after a team calls you and says, ‘Hey, we drafted you,’ you have to turn it down,” Magleby said. “We call it ‘big-leaguing it,’ where you sound like you’re better than you are but that’s not the case at all. I love football. I love UNR. I love the program. I’m just excited to get up there and start working out with them, but at the same time I could become a professional baseball player this year. You really want to weigh everything.”