Hochevar Loses Game But Wins Honors

On a day when he was less than his best, post-season honors began rolling in for Luke Hochevar, the first draft choice of the Dodgers in the recent amateur draft. Hochevar was the opening day starter for the University of Tennessee in the College World Series at Omaha, Nebraska, but was betrayed by some wildness and shoddy defensive plays early and wound up the loser to Florida, 6-4, Friday.

He would serve up two home runs for the first time this season as he obviously tired in the fifth and sixth innings.

In the meantime, though, he received word that he had been selected as a first-team All-American by Baseball America for going 15-2, 2.09 during the regular season. He struck out 151 batters in 133 innings.

Also saluted was just-signed outfielder Sergio Pedroza, who was selected to third team. Playing for Cal State Fullerton, Pedroza hit .324-16-58.

On the high school side, second-round choice, righthander Josh Wall, was named to the second team All-America. The 6-6 righthander was 14-1, 0.93 with 138 strikeouts in 83 innings for Taylor Private Academy in Baton Rouge, La. Negotiations are getting underway with Wall, who is being given the grand tour of Dodger Stadium this weekend. They are expected to be protracted, however.

In the meantime, Pedroza, a third-round choice, became the highest draftee to sign to date. He received a bonus of over $500,000. Fourth-round selection, third baseman Josh Bell from Lantana, Fla. also has agreed to terms that include a bonus of $325,000. He reports to the Gulf Coast Dodgers.

Outfielder Trayvon Robinson from Crenshaw High in Los Angeles is another to sign and will join the Gulf Coast Dodgers on June 26. That brings to 12 the number of draftees signed to date. In addition to Hochevar and Wall, infielder Ivan DeJesus, Jr., who was taken with the second-round slot forfeited by Seattle for signing Adrian Beltré, has yet to agree to terms.