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MLB draft: A day to remember for Matt Hobgood

One hour before the amateur draft Tuesday, Norco's Matt Hobgood said his advisor received a phone call from the Baltimore Orioles telling him that if Dustin Ackley of North Carolina was not available, they would pick Hobgood No. 5.

When Ackley went No. 2 to the Seattle Mariners, Hobgood let out loud applause. The Orioles did what they said they would do, going with Hobgood, the 6-foot-4, 250-pound Gatorade national player of the year.

"I'm ecstatic," Hobgood said. "I don't know what to say. This is about all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears. I'm so happy they pulled the trigger."

Despite hitting 21 home runs, Hobgood said the Orioles have told him he was selected to become a pitcher. He has a 95-mph fastball and, all season, people didn't know whether he'd be a pitcher or a hitter at the professional level.

"Somebody has figured it out," he said. "I'll sneak in some batting practice."

As for how long it will take him to sign, Hobgood said, "It shouldn't take long. I'm ready to sign."

-- Eric Sondheimer

 
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