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Lemont's Latz, Papierski together even in draft

LEMONT – From the age of eight, Jake Latz and Mike Papierski have been linked together on the baseball field.

Over the years, their trek has taken the duo from travel teams to Lemont High School to future college commitments to Louisiana State University.

So what were the odds that both would be selected by the same team on the same day in the MLB draft?

As it turns out, pretty good.

While competing for the Indians in Saturday's Class 3A Lincoln-Way West Sectional final, Latz and Papierski were selected by the Toronto Blue Jays, Latz in the 11th round with the 324th overall pick and Papierski in the 16th round with the 474th pick.

In the process, they became the first Lemont players to be drafted directly out of high school, according to school officials.

"That was really amazing," Latz said. "First the same high school, then the same college and now drafted by the same team."

For both, the thought of having their name called in the draft and competing at the highest level has been on their minds for a while.

"That's been my dream, to play Major League Baseball," said Papierski, who was told by teammate Jake Terrazas that he was picked.

Latz concurred.

"It's always been my dream growing up, and it has become more of a reality the last couple of years," Latz said. "It's a really special moment for me."

Both have excelled on the field this spring for Lemont, which is headed to the state semifinals this weekend for the first time in program history.

Going into Monday's supersectional, Latz was 8-0 with a 0.28 ERA, striking out 94 batters while allowing only 25 hits in 50 innings. He upped that mark to 9-0 after yielding an unearned run in 5 1/3 innings against De La Salle.

For his high school career, Latz is 16-2 with three saves and 248 strikeouts in 145 innings.

Papierski, who went 2 for 3 with a double, triple and two RBIs Monday, entered the contest hitting .396 with 10 doubles, seven home runs, 24 RBIs and 27 walks.

"It's one thing to get a college scholarship," Lemont coach Brian Storako said, "and it's a whole other thing to get drafted by a major league team. They've worked hard for it and they deserve it and they are moving forward to bigger and better things."

As for the decision whether to head to LSU or sign with the Blue Jays, that is expected to come some time after the high school season wraps up Saturday.

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