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Baseball: Orioles grab two Maryland players in MLB June draft

The 2012 Major League Baseball June draft wrapped up Wednesday and C. Milton Wright graduate Brad Markey was picked up in the 35th round by the New York Mets.

The Baltimore Orioles selected two Maryland-based talents - Ryan Ripken, son of IronBirds owner and Baseball Hall of Fame member Cal Ripken Jr., and Josh Hader - who might be seen playing at Ripken Stadium this summer with the Aberdeen IronBirds.

The 20-year-old Markey, a 2010 graduate of C. Milton Wright who guided the Mustangs to a 23-0 record and a 3A state title in his senior year, pitching a three-hitter in the championship game against Huntingtown, was selected by New York's National League representative as the draft's 1,070th overall pick. Markey, a sophomore at Florida's Santa Fe Community College, may also see some action in Aberdeen, as the Mets' New York-Penn League affiliate, the Brooklyn Cyclones, play in the McNamara Division along with the IronBirds.

"I am so happy for Brad," former CMW head coach Tony Blackburn said. "I first met him when he was a 14-year-old freshman, and he told me that he wanted to play college baseball in the ACC, and get drafted by a major league team. Over the years I have had many players share similar aspirations with me, but what set Brad apart was that he understood how lofty those goals were, and he put in the work to make those dreams come true. He has consistently outworked his competition."

Markey has until July 13 to decide whether to report to assignment with the Mets, or forgo this year's draft in favor of attending Virginia Tech University, where he has a scholarship offer.

Hader, a 6'3" left-handed pitcher who recently graduated from Old Mill High School in Anne Arundel County, was selected by Baltimore in the 19th round as the 582nd overall pick. Ripken, the 6'6" first baseman from Baltimore's Gilman School, was grabbed in the very next round as the 612th pick of the draft. Ripken will turn 19 in July, while Hader celebrated his 18th birthday in April.

Ripken and Hader will also have to decide whether they want to begin professional baseball careers this summer, or attend college. Ripken signed a letter of intent in November to attend University of South Carolina, while Hader stated prior to this weeks' draft that he planned to attend Anne Arundel Community College.

Should Ripken and Hader choose to play pro baseball, they would likely have to prove themselves in Sarasota, Fla., with Baltimore's Rookie level affiliate, the Gulf Coast League Orioles, before getting called up to play for the IronBirds.

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