After being drafted in the 21st round by the Cleveland Indians, Charleston Southern standout Bobby Ison faces a tough decision.
As a junior, he can sign with the Indians and begin his professional baseball career. Or he can return for his senior season to a school where he's excelled for three seasons.
"It's a difficult choice," said Ison, an outfielder taken with the No. 638 overall pick by the Indians. "We'll meet with some people from the Indians in the next couple of days, go over the terms and go from there.
"Coach (Stuart) Lake has been great to me, and Charleston Southern has, too. It will be tough to go. But if the terms are right and we come to an agreement, I'm ready to take the next step."
Ison was the second Buccaneer drafted on Saturday, joining senior third baseman Alex Tomasovich, taken in the 20th round by the Cubs.
Ison was at his dad's house in Goose Creek when the call came on Saturday from the Indians, who had been in contact with him during the first two day of the MLB Draft.
"They texted, asking me if I'd like to go to Arizona to get a few at-bats before I went to their short-season team," Ison said. "A round later, there my name comes. It was unbelievable, one of the best feelings in the world."
Ison hit .396 for the 30-26 Bucs last season, with three home runs, 34 runs batted-in and just six strikeouts in 230 at-bats. He is a two time all-Big South selection and holds CSU's single-season record for hits with 91.
Lake said he will support Ison either way his decision goes.
"I was excited for him to get drafted," Lake said. "The good thing for Bobby is he has a place that would really love to have him back. But we know it's the ultimate dream for those guys to move on with their pro careers."
Tomasovich was selected with the No. 589 pick overall by the Cubs. The senior from Tega Cay batted .361 with five homers and 44 RBI and had a 25-game hitting streak last season. He leaves CSU as the career record-holder in doubles with 53 and is second on the Bucs' career hits list with 253.
Tomasovich graduated from CSU with honors in December and is already enrolled in the school's MBA program. He was twice named to the Big South All-Academic team and was awarded the Hunter Cup, presented to Charleston Southern's top graduating student-athlete.
"Alex was a year ahead of Bobby, and his class really started to change things for us from a talent standpoint," said Lake, whose team's 30 wins was the Bucs' most in 14 years. "And then Bobby was that local guy we'd been fighting so hard to get at that point. They both were great for us."