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July 15, 2011

Mooney agrees to terms



As expected, Peter Mooney's first year in Division I baseball will be his last.

South Carolina's junior shortstop will vacate his final year of college eligibility and accept his 21st-round draft selection from Toronto, he confirmed by text message to GamecockCentral.com on Friday night. He hasn't signed his official contract yet but has verbally agreed to terms.

The move came as no surprise since it was suspected that Mooney would follow in the steps of his older brother, Mike Mooney, and go pro after a year. Like his brother, Peter Mooney played two years of junior-college ball before transferring to the SEC for one season (Mike Mooney went to Florida) and then went pro.

Mooney, a defensive whiz who almost seamlessly replaced Bobby Haney in the Gamecocks' infield, hit .280 with four home runs and 37 RBIs as one of two USC players to start every game. He hit the only homer of USC's stay at the College World Series and, like Haney, left school as a national champion.

There was some thought that Mooney could come back to try to up his draft selection as a senior, but his height (5-foot-7) was thought to be a deterrent. He will head to Dunedin, Fla., to work out with the Blue Jays' entry in the Florida State League.

Mooney became the first underclassman of USC's draft class to sign. The Gamecocks' three senior draftees (Scott Wingo, Adrian Morales and John Taylor) have already embarked on their professional careers, as has Andrew Faulkner, a recruit from Aiken who signed with Texas.

As for a replacement, the Gamecocks signed four junior-college infielders (LB Dantzler, Chase Vergason, Tanner Lovick and Casey Smit) plus high-school infielders Connor Bright, Mikal Hill, T.J. Costen and Joey Pankake. Costen and Pankake were each drafted but are expected to come to school; Costen is already enrolled for the Summer II session. Of the group, USC is expected to find replacements for Wingo, Mooney and Morales.

2011 USC DRAFT CLASS
Name, pos., school (if a recruit), round (no.), pro team
Commit Taylor Guerrieri, RHP, Spring Valley HS, first (24), Rays
Commit Brian Goodwin, OF, Miami-Dade (Fla.) College, first supplemental (34), Nationals
Jackie Bradley Jr., OF, first supplemental (40), Red Sox
Matt Price, RHP, sixth (184), Diamondbacks
Commit Evan Beal, RHP, South County (Va.) HS, eighth (246), Royals
*Scott Wingo, SS, 11th (344), Dodgers, SIGNED, July 5
Commit Tanner English, OF, St. James HS, 13th (420), Rays
Commit Andrew Faulkner, LHP, South Aiken HS, 14th (444), Rangers, SIGNED, June 19
Commit Joel Seddon, RHP, St. Clair (Mich.) HS, 20th (619), Blue Jays
Peter Mooney, SS, 21st (649), Blue Jays, SIGNED, July 15
*John Taylor, RHP, 22nd (663), Mariners, SIGNED, July 7
Commit T.J. Costen, SS, First Colonial (Va.) HS, 22nd (684), Rangers
Adam Matthews, OF, 23rd (695), Orioles
Bryan Harper, LHP, 30th (907), Nationals
Michael Roth, LHP, 31st (938), Indians
Steven Neff, LHP, 41st (1,257), Giants
Commit Joey Pankake, SS, Easley HS, 42nd (1,284), Rangers
@Commit Shon Carson, OF, Lake City HS, 44th (1,345), Reds
@Commit Ahmad Christian, IF, Trinity Christian (Fla.) HS, 46th (1,391), Brewers
Tyler Webb, LHP, 48th (1,465), Reds
*Adrian Morales, 3B, 49th (1,476), Royals, SIGNED, July 7
*Seniors and have no remaining eligibility
@Signed with USC for football and have expressed an interest in walking on to the baseball team

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