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The Baltimore Sun

Whirlwind week for Bauers

By his own admissions, Jake Bauers has called the past few weeks nothing short of "crazy."

The Marina High senior will tell you, he'd have it no other way.

On the cusp of the month of June, Bauers and the Marina baseball team played for a CIF Southern Section Division 1 championship. Since that May 31 night at Dodger Stadium, so much more has transpired for the 17-year-old.

Although the Vikings were denied the program's third Southern Section baseball title on the final day of May, Bauers did realize another dream of his when he was taken in the seventh round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Friday by the San Diego Padres.

Bauers learned of his selection while checking out the draft proceedings on a home computer. When he heard his name, the reality, and relief, sunk in.

His was the 208th overall pick in the draft.

"When we heard it, we shot up from our seats. We had a nice, family hug," said Bauers, who watched the announcement come across the screen with his parents, Stuart and Misty.

"It really was crazy," he continued. "This senior year has been absolutely unforgettable."

Bauers said Wednesday that he came to an agreement with the Padres on Tuesday but did not reveal any specifications. He said he will sign with the organization this coming Tuesday.

Since that CIF title game, Bauers traveled to San Diego for a workout, played in the Orange County All-Star Baseball Game — where he had a run-scoring single, and was taken in the MLB Draft in a one-week period.

The All-Sunset League first baseman also on Tuesday was named to the All-CIF Southern Section Division 1 Baseball Team.

Within a 12-hour period, Bauers had to shift his emotions away from a heart-breaking, 1-0 championship game loss to North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake, to zero in and focus on a scheduled workout with the Padres.

"The very next day after the CIF championship game, I went to San Diego for a workout at Petco Park," he said. "That CIF game was a great game, and an emotional one, but it was easy to turn the page and concentrate on what was next. I had to. I ended up having a great workout."

Bauers knew the Padres were honed in on him.

"They were showing a lot of interest," he said.

But that didn't prevent Bauers from experiencing some tense moments as the 49th annual draft proceedings, which began June 6, progressed.

The first few rounds came and went without his name called.

"I had heard that I would go between rounds 3 to 5 but when Round 5 came and went, I got stressful," he said. "When my name did pop up Friday, that stress went away. I was elated and very happy."

Well before the hype and hoopla of Friday's draft, Bauers had entered his final year at Marina having already gotten one big decision out of the way by committing to the University of Hawaii. He made that choice early on, he said, before the start to his junior year.

Bauers was a terror at the plate during his final season at Marina. In 111 appearances, he struck out only six times. In 84 at-bats, he had 48 hits. He homered 10 times, tripled once, had seven doubles, was walked 26 times and stole eight bases.

He drove in 26 runs and scored 37 times, hit .571 for the season and finished with a .667 on-base percentage.

At first base, he committed only one error during Marina's 31-game season.

Naturally, he was securely on the radar of professional scouts.

"I'm so proud of this young man," Marina Coach Bob Marshall said. "He has matured and been a solid leader for this team.

"The San Diego Padres got a stud. Jake can rake. He can hit with power, average, can run well, has a solid arm, and can play first base and is a solid outfielder. They got a deal in getting him so late."

Bauers, who played youth ball in Ocean View Little League and with HB Vikings Travel Baseball, first played at the varsity level a year ago when, as a junior, he was named the Sunset League's Rookie of the Year. He started in right field last season in which he finished with six assists. Marshall said Bauers had the ability to throw out runners with an "accurate and powerful arm."

"Like I said many times, he has matured as a player and a person," Marshall said. "He has the ability and the work ethic to take himself far in this game. Jake is a competitor and there is no one I would want at bat in a crucial spot other than Jake Bauers.

"Jake means the world to the Marina program. He has been our offensive leader all year, he is the team leader, and the catalyst for this team. [Getting drafted] has been Jake's dream since Little League and Viking travel ball. I am very proud of him and wish him the best."

Friday's draft selection was just the continuation of crazy for Bauers, who is graduating Thursday. The past week has included workouts, meetings with members of the Padres organization, and graduation rehearsal.

Oh, and then there's that part of coming to a decision on Tuesday that was to dictate his immediate future.

"This is an amazing time for me," he said. "It's been busy, hectic and crazy, but to top it all off, all of this, is a dream come true."

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