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Baseball: Former Owl Raymond Church Making Strides in Pro Career

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Baseball: Former Owl Raymond Church Making Strides in Pro Career



Unlike some of his Hudson Valley Renegades teammates, Church wasn't a can't-miss prospect in high school. He played two years of junior college baseball at Palm Beach State College, batting more than .340 in both seasons there. Church then landed at Florida Atlantic University, where he started 60 games, hit .329 with 10 home runs and 46 RBI his junior year. This spring, he batted .351 in 57 starts, turned 33 double plays and had a .974 fielding percentage, leading his coaches to believe he likely would be taken in the 2011 first-year player draft.

"But with the draft, you never know," Church said. "You absolutely don't have any clue. You really don't know until they finally call your name. I had a feeling, I had a good feeling, and I thought I would at least get some type of shot. The Rays took a chance, and I'm going to make the best of it."

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