The pressure was on Marcus Stroman this season. Being a 5-8 pitcher, the Patchogue-Medford righthander has always had to deal with doubters.
He showed last season that he is one of the elite players as he became just the third junior to win the Carl Yastrzemski Award, which goes to the outstanding high school baseball player in Suffolk County.
Stroman delivered again in his senior season. Stroman won the Paul Gibson Award presented to Suffolk's top pitcher last night at the Suffolk County Coaches Association dinner at Villa Lombardi's in Holbrook.
"It's an honor to be recognized as one of Suffolk's top players," Stroman said. "There were a lot of great pitchers and guys who put up big stats."
Stroman went 7-2 with a 0.25 ERA and 0.64 WHIP. In 562/3 innings, he allowed 24 hits, walked 12 and struck out 106. He had four shutouts.
Stroman, who also played shortstop, was drafted in the 18th round by the Washington Nationals last week. He is in negotiations with the Nationals and if he doesn't sign, he will play at Duke.
"I'm hoping someone uncovers a mistake in his birth certificate that finds him to be a year younger so we can have him for another year," Patchogue-Medford coach Anthony Frascogna said. "It was really exciting to experience his predraft workout. He did as good a job as anyone there. He stood out among some very talented players."
Stroman was the linchpin for a team that reached the losers' bracket final of the Class AA double-elimination playoffs. He won two games in the playoffs and allowed one unearned run in 14 innings.
Stroman also took part in one of the most memorable games of the season April 16 in front of a representative from every major-league team as he faced Ward Melville's Steven Matz, who was drafted in the second round by the Mets. Stroman lost, 1-0, but threw a three-hitter, walked none and struck out 14.
"He took the pressure off of us," Frascogna said. "He was just dominant on the mound. He became unhittable. He threw all of his pitches for strikes. He delivered with a lot of pressure on him. He loves the spotlight. He rose to the level of competition