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Sale bursting with pride for alma mater


GLENDALE, Ariz. -- It has been an especially good week for White Sox hurler Chris Sale.

First, he agreed to a five-year, $32.5 million extension with the team as announced Thursday and then Saturday, his alma mater from Florida Gulf Coast University won the Atlantic Sun men's postseason tournament and earned its first-ever NCAA tournament bid. It was just the Eagles' second year of eligibility in their sixth year as a Division I athletic program.

"That's sick. That's so awesome," said Sale, with a giddy smile. "You think about where that school was when I first started going there and years before that. Then all the way to where it is now. It's unbelievable. They are doing some big things down there."

Sale pitched at FGCU from 2008-10, posting an 11-0 record with a 2.01 ERA in 2010, along with 146 strikeouts and 14 walks in 103 innings. While he was proud of the hoops team's accomplishments, he also beamed over their three-game baseball sweep of 13th-ranked Florida at Gainesville in late February.

"They went to The Swamp and swept them," said Sale, who hopes to throw between four and five innings Monday against the Rockies. "It was unreal, just going and looking at that and seeing how the guys are doing. It's awesome."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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