Pettway, other Rebels expect calls from major league teams today|[6/7/05]

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 7, 2005

OXFORD – Scan the Major League Baseball’s Web site for draft prospects for the two-day amateur player lottery and one is sure to find the leading hitter in the Southeastern Conference.

But under “P” there is no Brian Pettway. Under Mississippi prospects, same result.

What may be an MLB oversight should be rectified today when the draft kicks off at 11:30 a.m. Pettway, who won the Ferriss Trophy as the state’s top college baseball player, is preparing for the team’s Super Regional against Texas. The draft will be a sideshow.

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“I don’t know. I haven’t talked to anyone,” Pettway said after the Rebels’ 20-5 Oxford Regional clinching victory over the Oklahoma Sooners.

Pettway is one of 11 Rebels that could see their names called over the two-day draft. The marathon draft will conclude on Wednesday.

Last season, Pettway’s former teammate at Warren Central, Taylor Tankersley, was chosen by the Florida Marlins in the first round.

Pettway is expected to be the highest drafted Warren County player. Meridian Community College’s Joey Lieberman, who also played with Pettway at WC, was chosen in the late rounds last year by Atlanta, but decided to play at Meridian for another year.

Lieberman has signed to play at Memphis next season.

Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said having so many of his players eligible for the draft comes with mixed emotions.

“It’s bittersweet because I’m excited for the kids that have this opportunity, but there is a chance a lot of them won’t be back next year,” Bianco said.