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2 WI Alumni Selected in MLB Draft

Pitcher Nick Tropeano was drafted early by the Astros, while catcher Pat Cantwell was picked by the Orioles.

Nick Tropeano and Pat Cantwell, teammates at both West Islip High School and Stony Brook University, have both been selected in the 2011 Major League Baseball draft. 

who scouts have highly touted this past season, was drafted in the fifth round (160th overall) by the Houston Astros.  Fellow junior Cantwell was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 39th round (1175th overall).  

As a kid, it was apparent that Tropeano wasn't just any other pitcher. His mechanics were smooth, his arsenal sometimes untouchable and he was a bulldog on the mound.

It's those qualities and more that the Astros saw in him throughout his junior season at SBU, and in the 2011 draft, turning his dream into a reality.

"I'm honored, privileged and thankful that the Houston Astros for giving me the opportunity to advance my career at the next level," Tropeano said Tuesday night. "It's emotional for me because I've been working my whole life for this. This is just the first step. I know I have to work my way from the bottom to the top."

Cantwell is coming off a 2011 season in which he received  First-Team All-America East honors. The Seawolves finished 42-12 and Cantwell started every game as the No. 1 catcher.

Tropeano said he watched the draft online at his West Islip home with his father and sister. He'd been in contact with approximately 25 of the 30 major league clubs, but it was the Astros who called him before the fifth round, notifying him that they intended to take him. Tropeano indicated that, although he has until August 15 to sign a deal, he's looking to get his professional career started as soon as possible. He meets with Houston Astro representatives on Wednesday.

He's coming off a dynamite junior year with the Seawolves. Tropeano set the school's single-season record for wins (12) and strikeouts (119); his victory total was good for second best in the country behind Texas' Taylor Jungmann, a first-round selection Monday. With Tropeano's help, the Seawolves recorded a program-best 42 wins and captured the America East regular season title.

The previous year, he parlayed a dominating summer season with the Riverhead Tomcats of Hamptons Collegiate Baseball into a superb sophomore campaign with Stony Brook. Tropeano was named the America East Co-Pitcher of the Year after going 8-4 with a 2.44 ERA in 14 starts. He stood out on the national scene when he held vaunted Coastal Carolina to three runs in eight innings in the Myrtle Beach Regional of the NCAA Tournament.

That summer, he pitched in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League and led the Cotuit Kettleers to their first championship since 1999. Tropeano not only led the league in strikeouts but punctuated his summer by throwing 6 1/3 innings of no-hit relief in the title game.

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