Draft day two not too costly to LSU

Rounds 21 through 50 of the Major League first-year player draft were held Wednesday, and the LSU baseball program came out relatively unscathed. Two of the Tigers taken were done with their eligibility, and two LSU signees were taken so late they are likely to put off the pros for now.<br><br>But the biggest question mark from Wednesday's picks hangs over junior pitcher Brian Wilson, who missed the second half of the season due to an injury.

The San Francisco Giants picked Wilson in the 24th round although he has not pitched since March 28. After experiencing soreness in his elbow, Wilson was held out of games until it was ultimately determined that he needed Tommy John shoulder surgery.

Wilson was the Tigers' Friday night starter in Southeastern Conference series through the first three series. He pitched a five-hit shutout versus Florida on March 14 and was 5-3 on the season with a 3.38 ERA in 50.2 innings. His stats included 35 strikeouts and 13 walks.

Wilson underwent surgery on April 17 and should be available to pitch next season should he elect to return to college rather than sign with the Giants, who also signed LSU reliever Billy Sadler in the sixth round Tuesday.

Two more members of the Tigers' pitching staff were selected Wednesday: seniors Bo Pettit and Jake Tompkins.

Pettit was taken in the 29th round of the Major League first-year player draft by the Minnesota Twins, who selected Pettit in the 13th round last year.

Pettit graduated from LSU in last month while helping the Tigers to qualify for an NCAA Super Regional. Entering this weekend's Super Regional series with Baylor, Pettit has a 9-2 record with a 5.38 ERA in 15 appearances. He led the staff with 97 innings pitched and recorded one save in his only relief appearance.

Tompkins decided to return for his senior season with the Tigers after the Texas Rangers picked him the 28th round of last year's amateur draft. The extra year of college kept Tompkins' market value around the same, as Philadelphia selected him in the 32nd round today.

Tompkins has bounced back and forth between starting and closing in his career at LSU. He is 3-5 this season with a 5.32 ERA in 17 appearances, earning the win over Northeastern in LSU's opening game in the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional.

The Tigers are likely to turn to Tompkins again this postseason as he has a 3-0 career NCAA postseason record and was the NCAA's Most Outstanding Player in last year's sub-regional at Alex Box Stadium.

The Tigers had two signees drafted Tuesday and another two on Wednesday. The Montreal Expos selected infielder Lance Zawadski from Ashland, Mass., in the 48th round. Chances are he is most likely to pass up the money he will be offered and will end up in Baton Rouge.

Zawadski was expected to go higher in the draft, as he was rated No. 41 in the Baseball America magazine Top 50 list of high school prospects heading into the 2003 season.

One round later, the Cincinnati Reds selected first baseman Jordan Mayer from Alexandria Senior High School.

Mayer and Zawadski join Cain Byrd and Eric Duncan as potential Tigers taken in this year's draft. The New York Yankees took Duncan, an infielder from West Orange, N.J., with the 27th overall pick. Byrd, a right-handed pitcher from Shreveport-Southwood, went to the Texas Rangers in the 18th round.

As on now, only one member of the 2003 LSU signing class will not be enrolling for the fall semester. Junior college catcher Bobby Wilson of St. Petersburg, Fla., agreed to a pro contract last month.

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