Light Choosing Monmouth Over the Pros/Our Wishes for a Speedy Recovery for Tom Carpenter and More…

Barring a last-minute huge offer out of nowhere, recent Christian Brothers Academy graduate Pat Light will be continuing his career at Monmouth University and not signing with Minnesota Twins after being drafted in the 28th round in June. The deadline to sign draft picks is by midnight tonight, and as of 6:30 p.m., Light said he had not been given a contract offer by the Twins. Light said his father read an article that the Twins weren’t going to sign any of their remaining picks until they got a deal done with first-rounder Kyle Gibson from the University of Missouri, who remained unsigned as of 6:30 p.m. on Monday. Gibson’s negotiations were expected to go slow after he broke a bone in his right forearm while pitching for Missouri in the spring.

The picks in front of Light from rounds 23-27 also remain unsigned. Theoretically, Light could get an offer at 11:50 p.m. and have to decide by midnight, so it would have to be way out of the slotted amount for his round to make him change his mind.

“If (the Twins) choose to do something with me, it could be 11:59 p.m.,” Light said. “Basically, unless the five-minute offer they give me is unbelievable, I’m going to Monmouth.”

Light finished his career at CBA with a 20-0 record and was the only senior from this year’s class in the Shore Conference to be drafted. The 6-5 right-hander is expected to be Monmouth’s No. 1 starter as a freshman because of the departure of juniors Brett Brach and Ryan Buch, who were both drafted and signed this summer.

Also a talented basketball player who was the 2008-09 All Shore Media Player of the Year on the hardwood, Light ruled out the possibility of also playing hoops for the Hawks.

“I love basketball and I already miss playing, but to be realistic, I’m not going to be playing anything after college in basketball,” he said. “The Dodgers were blaming the tightness in my shoulder at the beginning of this past season on the quick transition from basketball to baseball, so I don’t want to get into that situation again.”

Light said he has had contact with Monmouth coach Dean Ehehalt over the summer, but said Ehehalt has “let me make the decision on my own.” Light did add that Monmouth’s pitching coach, Chuck Ristano, is leaving to take a job at Temple after having greatly boosted the Hawks’ staff since his arrival in 2005 and helping to produce several draft picks.

My take on all this is that Light made the right decision, if there was really any decision to make at all considering he never was given an offer other than the formality that teams make right at the beginning. If he continues to develop at Monmouth, he can make himself a lot more money in three or four years, and if it doesn’t work out, he still gets a college degree and can move on to coaching or anything else he wants to get involved in. It’s also a coup for Monmouth to grab Light, which signifies the continuing ascension of the Hawks’ program under Ehehalt.

With that settled, I would like to extend wishes for a speedy recovery to veteran Toms River East boys basketball coach Tom Carpenter, who suffered a stroke last week and is currently in the hospital in Philadelphia. It’s been a tough year for the Raiders basketball family considering the mother of now-graduated senior Ray Cochran also died from complications of a stroke at just 44 years old on the opening day of the season during the winter. I’m sure if Carpenter can weather all the eye-rolling miscues of teenagers playing basketball for more than 30 years, he can make it through this and get back where he belongs on the sidelines. I’m sure he’s cracking gallows-humor jokes to the nurses as we speak.

Finally, on to some other quick news:

–In the sigh of relief department, Knowshon Moreno (Middletown South) is only out 1-2 weeks with a sprained MCL from Friday’s preseason opener for the Broncos and should be back by their third preseason game.

–Linebacker Kevin Malast (Manchester/Rutgers) impressed with seven tackles in the Bears’ preseason opener and may at the very least get himself a spot on their practice squad.

–According to his profile, it looks like Ryan McGuinness (Howell) is going to be a starter in the secondary for New Hampshire this season.

–With Linas Kleiza heading to Greece instead of re-signing with the Nuggets, it looks like J.R. Smith (Lakewood/St. Benedict’s Prep) will be a starter for Denver next season.

Ryan Kalish (Red Bank Catholic) was a double short of hitting for the cycle for the Class AA Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox affiliate) last night.

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