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CSU standout Lillash excited to begin pro career



Published: Thu, June 14, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



By BRIAN RICHESSON

VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF

NILES -- Keith Lillash is no stranger to Cafaro Field.

As an infielder on the Cleveland State University baseball team, Lillash traveled to the Mahoning Valley to play Youngstown State.

Now, he can call Cafaro Field his home.

Cleveland State's first-ever All-American baseball player was drafted in the 30th round by the Cleveland Indians and sent to play for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.

"My roommate was actually watching TV, and he was the one who told me," Lillash said. "I just didn't believe it. I had to go to the screen and look."

Showed interest: A Mentor native and Lake Catholic High graduate, Lillash said the Indians showed the most interest out of several teams who considered drafting him.

Now, he becomes the third player from Cleveland State to play for the Scrappers. The others were catcher Jim Rickon in 1999 and first baseman Jeff Haase last year.

"There's some Cleveland State ties in this organization," said Lillash, who batted .337 this year, with five home runs and 39 RBIs while leading the team with 16 doubles.

Lillash played shortstop and second base at Cleveland State but is unaware of where the Indians plan to use him.




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