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Floro not bitter after Kansas State

Brock Floro seems indifferent about his departure from Kansas State.

Sure, Floro left Buhach Colony with high hopes and a dream of playing college baseball in the Big 12.

But the fact that it was the wrong situation seems to have left no lingering ill feelings.

"The coach told me I was going to redshirt, and I told him I think I'll go home then," Floro said. "Leaving wasn't too bad, because I wasn't really liking the situation.

"All the same guys that were in front of me were still going to be there the next year.

"I decided I'd go some place I could contribute."

"I'd lived in Nebraska, so I always wanted to play in the Big 12. I got kind of suckered into it without looking at all my options."

Instead of becoming bitter when things didn't go his way, Floro returned home and enrolled at Merced College.

MC baseball coach Chris Pedretti was more than happy to welcome the former Valley Oak League MVP onto an already talented team.

"He's definitely a quality, front-line pitcher," said Pedretti, who already had Brian Gilbertson and Bradin Hagens penciled into his rotation. "We really feel like all three of our guys would be front liners at any school.

"The addition of Brock gave us some real depth and versatility."

After talking it over with Pedretti, Floro never thought twice about joining the Blue Devils.

He'd get to contribute right away, and might be able to earn a better offer to a four-year school.

"I've had a blast being at MC," Floro said. "All my friends from my whole life are here.

"It's like playing Little League all over again."

The success that MC's core of players have enjoyed is probably comparable to those Little League days.

With Floro in the starting rotation, the Blue Devils (16-5 CVC) have gone an impressive 29-9 with three games remaining.

Floro has posted a 5-3 record with a 2.43 earned run average and a 52-to-15 strikeout-walk ratio in 66 2/3 innings.

"I caught him in high school on a Legion team that won state, so he and I are usually on the same page," MC catcher Wes Borba said. "It's really nice having an extra starter.

"(Brock's) a guy with command who has good stuff. He's real easy to catch."

Pedretti said Floro possesses intangibles that go beyond his impressive numbers.

"He's a good athlete who has a great ability to focus and make quality pitches in tough situations," Pedretti said. "Few kids have probably pitched in as many big games at his age as he has.

"Between pitching for the Buhach Colony championship teams and throwing at Kansas State, he's been in many pressure situations."

Floro can add another big game to his resume, pitching in MC's must-win against Fresno City last week.

It wasn't Floro's best start -- allowing seven hits and five walks in five-plus innings -- but he battled and left his team with a lead when he exited in the sixth inning.

MC failed to hold the lead, but the freshman's successes haven't gone unnoticed.

"I've talked to Oregon a little bit and Fresno State," Floro said. "My main thing is I want to go somewhere that I can start.

"There are a lot of options.

"It really feels to me like all the stuff with Kansas State happened for a reason."

Sean Lynch is a Sun-Star sports writer. He can be reached at 385-2476 or via e-mail at