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A month ago, Joey Martarano says he was convinced he was going to choose college football over a chance to play professional baseball.

Now the Fruitland High product and Boise State football signee is leaving the door open to both options.

Martarano was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 13th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Saturday and says he expects to sign a deal with a $100,000  bonus in the next few weeks. Half that bonus will be paid when he signs, the other half when he reports.

He will still play for the Broncos in the fall, but says the deal gives him the option to fall back on baseball if his football career doesn't pan out.

“I had quite a few teams that wanted me to play both sports,” said Martarano, who was picked by the Phillies as the 391st overall pick. “They told me I could sign up (to play baseball) when I wanted to, and I told them that I'd do that.”

Martarano, who was Idaho's Gatorade Football Player of the Year, signed with the Boise State football team in February. He said he's talked with Boise State coach Chris Petersen about playing both, although added that he wouldn't be playing baseball this summer.

After that, he says, he'd have to see.

“I'd still have to talk to Coach Pete,” Martarano said. “If I have some off time and can play baseball for two or three weeks, I can do that. It gives me an opportunity to keep both doors open in case football doesn't work out.”

Martarano was the first of four players with Idaho ties to be drafted on Saturday, joining Rocky Mountain High's Mason Smith, who was picked up by the Padres on Friday.

Joining Martarano and Smith were J.D. Leckenby, Isaac Anderson and Cody Lavalli.

Leckenby, a Buhl High graduate who just finished his junior season at Washington State, was drafted in the 14th round by the New York Mets.

Anderson, a Rocky Mountain High graduate who played for the College of Southern Idaho last season, was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 34th round.

The Texas Rangers took Lavalli in the 37th round after his junior season at Lewis-Clark State.

John Wustrow is the sports editor of the Idaho Press-Tribune. He is a Michigan native and a graduate of Indiana University.


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