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GARY — Cole Fabio was interviewing for finance jobs in New York when he took the call asking if he'd be interested in continuing his baseball career.

The rookie admitted hearing that RailCats manager Greg Tagert spent nearly two hours on the phone with Bryant University coaches, learning how Fabio had become the school's career leader in walks with 127, including 43 in his senior season.

That piqued Tagert's interest.

"For us, he looks like the kind of player we like instead of having to develop him into that kind of player," Tagert said. "What we've learned in the past is that if you have high strikeouts and low walks in college, it only doubles at each level. That reason, as much as anything, was enough for us to give him a chance."

With a phone call, Fabio, who had been in Gary for the undrafted senior workout, returned to the RailCats.

"I was just starting to meet people in finance," Fabio said. "When I got here, I didn't expect much right away, I knew I'd have to earn my spot. Then I started to play more and more and see my name in the lineup."

In 19 games heading into Saturday's second of three against Kansas City, Fabio had 10 walks, nine strikeouts, six runs and a .271 average.

"He's been a darn good player for us, and he was a guy who was flying under the radar," Tagert said. "We knew if we didn't give him a chance, someone would."

Patience is a virtue and a necessity for Fabio, listed on the roster at 5-foot-11.

"Being a little guy, it' hard to throw three strikes to me in a row," Fabio said. "I focus on being able to get on base."

Fabio, who signed July 18, has played most of his games at second base, a spot he earned after the trade of John Holland to Schaumburg. Holland was an undrafted senior find last season who was traded on July 23.

"Cole Fabio was this year's John Holland," Tagert said. "John Holland's performance last year was why we moved (Elbert) Devarie to third base and gave Holland a chance at second. We dealt Holland in part to give him a chance to play at his natural position at shortstop and to see what a guy like Fabio could do at second."


Sports Director

Hillary has covered prep, pro and college sports -- and even a Dixie Baseball World Series -- for newspapers north and south of the Mason-Dixon Line since 1995.