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Orioles first-round pick Kevin Gausman might spurn Baltimore, return to LSU

Kevin Gausman, seen here in the 2009 Under Armour All-American Baseball Game, might turn down the Baltimore Orioles' contract offer to return to LSU. (Jim Prisching/Getty Images)

Kevin Gausman, the Baltimore Orioles' first-round pick and the first pitcher selected in last month's MLB Draft, is "seriously considering" returning to LSU for another season, The Times-Picayune's Albert Burford reported Monday night.

Gausman told Burford that he might want one last season at LSU after the Tigers were eliminated in the NCAA Super Regional by upstart Stony Brook. The Orioles have until Friday at 5 p.m. to get a deal done. Gausman, who would be a junior if he returned, is one of only two of the Orioles' top-10 picks they have yet to sign.

"This is turning out to be a tough decision, but as of now my heart is still with LSU," Gausman said. "There are still things for me to accomplish as a Tiger. I still want to play in and win the College World Series, and with a lot of guys coming back next year I believe we can do it."

Gausman is the second top-10 overall pick reportedly leaning toward turning down a major-league offer. Pitcher Mark Appel, the No. 8 overall pick, might turn down the Pittsburgh Pirates' offer to return to Stanford.

This would be the second time Gausman has spurned a major-league team to attend LSU. The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Gausman in the sixth round in 2010 coming out of high school, but he chose to join the Tigers instead.

Gausman was 12-2 in 17 starts with the Tigers this season. He had a 2.77 ERA and racked up 135 strikeouts in 123 2/3 innings pitched. His refined repertoire includes a four-seam fastball that hits 98 mph and a changeup in the mid-80s.

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