Mets select WNC catcher Jerome Pena

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Western Nevada College catcher Jerome Pena was drafted to the N.Y. Mets with 1,214 pick in the 40th round.

The switch hitter hit .293 on the year with 13 doubles. He was solid in the field committing just three errors.

He hit .276 as a freshman at WNC. The Cave Creek, Ariz., native stands at 5'11" and weighs 184 pounds.

Former Douglas High pitcher Chris Balcom-Miller was taken by the Colorado Rockies in the sixth-round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft Wednesday morning.

The 6-2, 210-pound righty was taken with the 181st pick of the draft, the highest for any Douglas player since Shawn Estes was taken with the 11th pick of the 1991 draft by the Seattle Mariners.

It is also the third-highest pick in Douglas High history behind Estes and Russ Garside (103rd, 4th round, 1989, San Diego Padres).

"I was pretty excited," Balcom-Miller said. "The Rangers and the Pirates had called earlier in the morning and I guess the Red Sox were going to take me with their next pick. The Rockies had been in there a little bit during the whole process, but it was kind of a surprise.

"They called about five minutes after they drafted me. It was a good feeling.

"It was hard to sleep last night. I got a couple calls from teams last night and I was wondering who it would be. I woke up this morning with a lot of anticipation. The sixth round rolled around and I was starting to get a little nervous, wondering when my name would be called. Then Colorado comes up and calls me. It was an awesome feeling."

He said he'd heard from a number of friends, family and teammates throughout the day since being drafted.

Balcom-Miller was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 35th round last year but chose to stay on at West Valley College this year, where he wound up with first-team All-Northern California and Coast Golden Gate Conference Pitcher of the Year honors after striking out 106 batters in 83 innings pitched.

He pitched for Douglas as a sophomore in 2005, where he helped lead the Tigers to the Sierra League championship. He finished his high school career at Leigh High School in California and signed with West Valley from there.

Balcom-Miller was the second player with Nevada ties to be taken in this year's draft.

Bishop Gorman's Jeff Malm went in the fifth round to Tampa Bay with the 169th pick of the draft.

Douglas saw Malm twice this year, once during a mid-season tournament and once during the state tournament.

Another Tiger opponent from this year was taken in the sixth round as well. Pitcher Steven Inch of Canada's Vauxhall Baseball Academy was taken with the 197th pick of the draft by the Phillies. Douglas beat Vauxhall 2-0 in the final game of the Gorman Easter Classic this year. Douglas senior Tyler May, who went undrafted, struck out eight and walked three in taking the win.

Vauxhall had a number of draft picks overall. Third baseman Adam Nelubowich was taken by the Mariners with the 413th pick, pitcher Brandon Petite was taken by the Astros with the 911th pick and pitcher Jordan Wong was drafted by the Brewers with the 1,396th pick.

Gorman's RJ Santigate was drafted late by the Angels with the 1,341st pick.


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