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Liberty All-Time Hit King Laurent Signs with Padres Organization
Laurent, a native of Cantrall, Ill., graduated from Liberty with a degree in business in 2006. A four-year member of the Flames outfield, Laurent set school career records with 280 hits and 68 doubles, while finishing third all-time with 181 RBIs. A .337 hitter during his Flames career, Laurent also set a new single-season mark with 27 two-base hits in 2006.
During Laurent's junior and senior seasons, the Flames posted 36 wins in 2005 and 39 victories in 2006, the most Division I wins in school history. He received several honors including being named first team All-Big South in 2005 and to the conference's second team in 2006. The outfielder was also named to the Big South All-Tournament team in 2003 and 2006. Laurent capped his Liberty career by being named to the 2006 VaSID All-State first team.
After going undrafted in 2006, Laurent signed with the River City Rascals of the Independent Frontier League and played in 57 games this season. He was the only player in the league this season to appear among the top 10 in batting average (.344), top five in home runs (12) and top five in RBIs (46). He earned a spot on the Frontier League All-Star as an outfielder, where he was 1-for-2 with a double.
Laurent is the first River City player to sign with a Major League team this season. After meeting with team officials in Arizona, he is expected to be assigned to either the Class A Fort Wayne Wizards of the Midwest League or remain there and play in the Padres' Rookie League.