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Bruins' ace Neff, Winthrop senior Carrara taken in draft

And the wait begins for Steven Neff.

Lancaster's ace got the call he was waiting for Friday morning. The Los Angeles Dodgers were on the line, asking what Neff's asking price would be if they were to take him with their seventh-round selection.

Neff named his tag -- $400,000 -- and the Dodgers waffled. Neff, on spring break at the beach, said OK, hung up and went back to enjoying himself.

"I told them no because they were going to offer me 100 grand," Neff said. "The Pirates called me later and told me I was picked by them."

Pittsburgh offically selected Neff with the 788th pick of the 2007 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft and told him a scout would be by next week to talk terms. Neff said Friday the Pirates were interested in meeting his price, which would send Neff to the minor leagues.

If not, he'll go forward with his other plans -- playing for South Carolina next season.

"I told (USC coach Ray Tanner) about the situation, he said, 'Do what you want to do,'" Neff said. "It's been a real good week."

Neff, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound left-hander, impressed scouts during his prep career with a five-pitch repertoire. He can throw a curve, changeup and slider along with his four-seam and two-seam fastball, which has been clocked between 92-93 miles per hour.

"He's all you can ask for in a kid," said Rashad Cunningham, Neff's American Legion coach. "He's not the type to get the big head about anything."

Neff was joined on the local front by Winthrop second baseman Chris Carrara, who was taken with the last selection (934) of the 30th round. The Eagles' all-time hits leader, Carrara was picked by the N.Y. Yankees.

"I'm a huge Pirates fan, and (the Yankees are) actually playing the Pirates," Carrara said. "Since the Pirates never went to the World Series, I always watched the Yankees in the playoffs."

Carrara, a natural shortstop, played four years at second base and batted leadoff for Winthrop. He anchored the defense and impressed with his bat, hitting several home runs despite his short frame.

"He's a kid, when you look at tools, he's got two very good tools," Winthrop coach Joe Hudak said. "His best tool is his speed. I think the Yankees, once they get him, will like everything about him."

Carrara's mother, a rabid Yankees fan, was screaming when she got the news and Carrara pointed out the selection seemed preordained. One of the family's two golden retrievers is named Jeter, after Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.

"I'm actually petting him right now," Carrara said. "My other dog is named Cooper, for Cooperstown."

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