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Orioles draft Notre Dame's Connaughton in 4th round

Notre Dame two-sport standout Pat Connaughton was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the fourth round with the No. 121 selection on the second day of the Major League Baseball draft Friday.

Connaughton, who is also a starter on the men’s basketball team, told reporters prior to the draft that he would like to sign with the team that drafts him while maintaining his amateur basketball status. He plans to pitch for his new organization for up to six weeks this summer before returning to Notre Dame in time for the basketball team’s Italy tour.

“At the end of the day, worst case scenario, not even worst case scenario, but one scenario is I come back and play baseball for the University of Notre Dame,” Connaughton said at a news conference last week. “It’s been a great time doing it now and it’s been a success and I love the team on both sides and the coaches on both sides. If that happens, then I’ll attack it again next year.”

Connaughton went 3-5 with a 3.92 ERA with 36 strikeouts with 40 walks in 10 starts as a junior. He is 11-11 with a 3.03 ERA in 30 starts and 154 2/3 innings in three years with the Irish.

The 6-foot-5 swingman was third on the basketball team in scoring last season at 13.8 points per game.

Connaughton is the highest Irish pitcher to be drafted since right-hander Kyle Weiland went in the third round in 2008. He joins former Irish football players Jeff Samardzija, Golden Tate and Evan Sharpley as a two-sport Notre Dame player to be drafted by a baseball team.

Samardzija, who was a receiver with the Irish, plays for the Chicago Cubs.

Tate continued his football career. The receiver was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks and signed with the Detroit Lions this offseason after helping Seattle win the Super Bowl.

Sharpley played quarterback for the Irish.

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