Sports News

Jul 16, 2012 12:05 PM by Derek Buerkle - MTN Sports

Montana star picks college over the big leagues

MISSOULA - One local star had a chance to go pro before he even turned 18, but instead he's heading to college. Andrew Sopko will take his talents to Gonzaga in the fall.

San Diego selected the pitcher in the 14th round of this year's draft and the recent graduate of Loyola High School waited until Friday's deadline to make his decision.

The Zags out-weighed the Padres in the end. "It was really difficult. It's been my life dream to play professional baseball. You know, it's right in front of you, but you have to kind of think about it before you react. Basically I decided that I can go to school, get stronger, get better at what I'm doing. And hopefully I can get drafted higher after my junior year or senior year," Sopko explained.

He'll now need to play three years at Gonzaga before he could get drafted again. He used to pitch for the Missoula Mavericks, but spent this summer with the Bend Elks in the West Coast League.

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