On the same day that the Prout baseball team played for a trip to McCoy Stadium, the player who led the team’s last run to Rhode Island’s biggest stage earned an opportunity to take the next step in his career.

Former Crusader Mason Feole was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 11th round of the Major League Baseball Draft last Wednesday. The University of Connecticut junior was the 323rd player chosen.

“That kid’s desire to represent him and his family the right way - there’s no better kid, no better family that could have this opportunity to play professional baseball,” said Prout coach Mike LaBarbera.

Draft eligible after his third year at UConn, Feole will have the option of returning to school for another year or signing with the Padres and starting a professional career. If his time at UConn is complete, Feole will depart as one of the Huskies’ all-time greats. In his final start of the season in the NCAA Tournament, Feole became the school’s career strikeouts leader. Feole passed former teammate Tim Cate with his 271st punchout.

A former Gatorade Player of the Year at Prout, Feole led the Crusaders to a Division II runner-up finish in his final season in Wakefield.

“Nobody deserves it more,” LaBarbera said. “You could cover sports for 30 more years and nobody will deserve the opportunity more than Mason. It’s awesome.”

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