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Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

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Ute baseball player leaves school early for the pros

Utah baseball player Trey Nielsen is part of a growing trend as he has decided to forgo his senior year at Utah after getting drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in last month's draft.

He is the sixth Ute since 2008 to leave school early after being drafted.

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Nielsen, who was a 30th round pick, signed with the Cardinals on Thursday. He hit .232 for the Utes and led the team with 13 doubles. He also led Utah with 24 RBI and tied for the team lead with three home runs.

He also had a .367 slugging percentage and was 6-of-8 in stolen bases.

Nielsen, who was drafted as a pitcher, had just four appearances for the Utes on the mound due to injury and finished with seven strikeouts over six innings.

Former Utes Stephen Fife (Los Angeles Dodgers), C.J. Cron (Arkansas Travelers), Parker Morin (Wilmington Blue Rocks) and Tyler Wagner (Wisconsin Timber Rattlers) all left school early for the pros.

- Lya Wodraska

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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