The Washington Times-Herald

Sports

June 10, 2010

Decker signs with Pirates

CHARLESTON, S.C. —

If every young boys dream is to play major league baseball, then at least one former Washington Hatchet has a chance to turn that dream into a reality. On the third day of the annual Major League Baseball draft, Former Washington Hatchet Kevin Decker was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 39th round of the 50-round event. “This as been a dream of mine ever since I was little and through high school,” said Decker, who will report to a Pirate facility in Bradenton, Fla., today. “When I get down there they give you your spikes and gloves, sign your contract and you get a chance to meet some if the coaches. From there I will go to the New York-Penn League where they play a 60-game schedule. “My goal is to get back to Bradenton by the end of the season. That is a ‘high A’ team.” Decker was one of five members of his College of Charleston Cougar team to be drafted this season, as Heath Hembree, Rob Kral, Joey Bergman and Casey Lucchese, were also selected. In recent years, two Cougars have made it to the major league level, Jason Gilfichen with the Royals and Brett Gardner with the Yankees. “I think it helped having so many guys who got drafted. We had a lot of scouts there looking at us,” said Decker in a phone interview on Thursday. “The Los Angeles Angels and Pittsburgh were both pretty interested. It probably helped that we had a good season and got into the tourney. We played in front of bigger crowds.” Decker, a 6-1 and 185 lb. pitcher, was 8-0 this season with a team-leading 3.78 ERA. He struck out 67 batters in 81 innings of work. He helped led the Cougars to the NCAA Regional, where they fell to Coastal Carolina on Monday. In high school, Decker also had success on the hardwood as a shooting guard with the Hatchets. He was a member of the 2005 State Championship team and the 2006 sectional winners. He is the first Hatchet to be drafted by a major leaguer since Ryan Hill was drafted by the Royals in 1998.

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