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Caravel-alum Bilous ready to 'build' his pro baseball career

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Jason Bilous throws a pitch for Coastal Carolina

Jason Bilous throws a pitch for Coastal Carolina

Jason Bilous has done a lot of winning in his baseball career, but like the woodwork he spends his free time on, personal success has required time and patience.

The right-handed pitcher claimed two Delaware state championships at Caravel, and then followed it up with a small role on Coastal Carolina's surprise 2016 College World Series championship squad.

In between, was a career changer, when he was forced to not pitch his senior year at Caravel due to Tommy John surgery in the fall of 2014.

Despite that setback, Bilous was still selected in the 29th round of the MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers, forcing him to decide between college or the pros.

He chose Coastal Carolina, a school just inland from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

"I don't think I was ready for the grind of everyday pro ball. Just being a younger senior in high school, it would have been too big of a jump. Going to college, and learning from my injury how to re-pitch again, I think I'm definitely ready now."

The First Team All-Big South performer put together a solid junior campaign, rankings in the top 50 in Division I in Strikeouts (105), and Strikeouts per 9 Innings (11.3).

He leaves Coastal Carolina with a 13-6 record and a 4.28 ERA, along with 212 strikeouts in 180.2 innings pitched.

Bilous credits a "plus fastball" along with a slider and curveball for keeping opposing batters in line. Opponents only hit .234 for their careers against him.

While carving down batters at the plate, Bilous does the same thing off the mound, turning a love for woodworking into a Studio Art major. He's currently two semesters away from graduation, and as part of the deal with the White Sox, they will pay for him to go back and finish his degree.

His goal is eventually get into house restoration, but he says he's most proud of a leopard he created using a technique known as intarsia.

"You get the picture, you cut it out, you sand each piece, and then you glue it back together so it looks 3-dimensional. That one took the most time so that's what I'm most proud of."

While he says that skill proved to be very popular around the holidays, his pitching was also attracting plenty of attention, including from the White Sox, who eventually called his name after he was followed by a former Major Leaguer.

"It wasn't too big of a surprise, the area scout, Kevin Burrell, started scouting me early this season, and he's been in contact with me every other week. I didn't see it coming, because no one can predict the draft, but it wasn't a surprise."

Bilous had the option to return to Coastal for his senior year, but he's packing his bag to head west to begin his life in professional baseball on Thursday.

He'll be assigned to one of the White Sox's two Rookie League teams, the Arizona League White Sox, or the Advanced-Rookie Great Falls (Montana) Voyagers in the Pioneer League.

Some good news for his local friends and family is if he can earn a pair of promotions to Advanced-A, the White Sox affiliate is the Winston-Salem Dash, a Carolina League rival of the Wilmington Blue Rocks.

Ultimately, Bilous said the time was right for the pitcher who won't celebrate his 21st birthday until August 11, a much better situation than the 17-year-old coming out of Caravel in 2015.

"Pro ball is a dog-eat-dog world. There are guys that are 27, 30, have kids and wives, and you're at the bottom of the totem pole. No one is going to know who you are. If you can handle that, live on your own, and be able to manage your money correctly, I say go for it. But, if you're looking for that college atmosphere and college degree, it's a great place to mature, as well, it helped me tremendously. It's longer, but it can pay off in the end."

Bilous will get a chance to shine in the baseball world, and much like his woodwork, he hopes its a professional master craft.

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Delaware High School Football

 

Saturday, Sept. 24

Charter School of Wilmington 59, John Dickinson 9

Howard School of Technology 38, Archmere Academy 34

Lake Forest 39, Delcastle Tech 0

Salesianum 16, St. Georges Tech 14

St. Mark's 21, Newark 20, 2OT

William Penn 20, Hodgson Vo-Tech 14

POSTPONEMENTS AND CANCELLATIONS=

Mt. Pleasant vs. Alexis I. duPont, ccd.

Friday, Sept. 23

Caravel Academy 35, Red Lion Christian Academy 7

Concord 28, Thomas McKean 24

Delmar 35, Milford 7

Dover 33, Cape Henlopen 12

Indian River 28, Brandywine 20

Middletown 14, Appoquinimink 0

Odessa 32, First State Military 0

Seaford 50, Polytech 13

Smyrna 44, Caesar Rodney 0

St. Andrew's 45, Christiana 0

St. Elizabeth 26, Tatnall 0

Wilmington Friends 43, Tower Hill 7

Woodbridge 34, Sussex Technical 7

Thursday, Sept. 22

Delaware Military Academy 41, Conrad 0

Glasgow 42, Early College 6