Tide Baseball Avoids Draft Disaster

All-America outfielder Taylor Dugas will return to the Alabama baseball program for his senior season as the deadline to sign a professional contract passed at midnight on Monday evening. In addition to Dugas, three incoming UA signees -- Ian Gardeck, Justin Kamplain and Taylor Guilbeau -- will join the Crimson Tide after not signing a contract with the teams that drafted them in June.



Dugas, who was selected 249th overall in the eighth round by the Chicago Cubs, led Alabama with a .349 average and eight home runs in 2011. Following his junior season, Dugas was an American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Gold Glove outfielder, an ABCA/Rawlings First Team All-South Region selection, a Second-Team All-SEC honoree and All-SEC Defensive Team pick.

In three years at Alabama, Dugas has a career batting average of .365, with 263 total hits, 12 home runs and 97 runs batted in. In returning for his senior season, he will have an opportunity to set a number of Alabama school records. He enters his final season with the Tide ranked third in triples (11) and walks (127), sixth in batting average (.365) and runs scored (191), seventh in doubles (55) and eighth in hits (263).

The first of Alabama's three signees that were selected in the 2011 MLB Draft was junior college pitcher Ian Gardeck. Gardeck was picked in the eighth round by the Chicago White Sox, when the 6-2 right-handed pitcher from of Angelina College was the 261st selection overall. Last season at Angelina College, Gardeck appeared in 20 games with five starts, posting a 0-2 record with three saves. He had 36 strikeouts in 33.1 innings pitched with a 3.78 ERA and a .196 opponent batting average. He pitched in the Cap Code League this summer, making nine appearances with a 0-1 record, a 5.87 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 7.2 innings for the Falmouth Commodores.

Justin Kamplain, a left-handed pitcher from Walker High School, was selected in the 22nd round by the St. Louis Cardinals. Kamplain finished his career at WHS with a 30-7 record with five saves and an ERA under 2.00. During his senior season he was 7-2 with a pair of perfect games, one save and a 1.38 ERA. In 66 innings, he struck out 115 batters while allowing just 28 hits. He opened the 2011 season with a career-high 17 punch outs against Northwest Rankin High School.

Taylor Guilbeau was the final UA signee selected in the 2011 MLB draft when he was a 39th round selection by the New York Yankees. The lefty from Zachary High School in Zachary, La., was named an honorable mention Class 5A All-State honoree, the District 5-5A Most Valuable Player and as an All-District 5-5A first team selection following the 2011 season. In 2010, Guilbeau led his team to a 5-5A District Title, posting a 10-3 record with a 1.40 ERA. He was voted to the Class 5A-4A All-Metro and Louisiana Sports Writers Association's Class 5A All-State team as a junior after leading Zachary to the regional round of the playoffs.

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