June 6, 2014
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Matt Gage has taken one giant step closer to fulfilling his childhood dream. Literally. The Siena Baseball ace was selected in the 10th Round (298th Pick) by the San Francisco Giants in Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft Friday.
"It's a childhood dream come true," Gage said. "I've always wanted to play in the major leagues since my dad first put a ball in my hand when I was just two years old. It's an overwhelming feeling but I'm really excited that the Giants liked me and have given me a chance to start my professional career."
A local product from nearby Gloversville, N.Y. by way of Broadalbin-Perth High School, Gage becomes the 14th Saint to be selected in the MLB Draft since 1996. Ira Tilton (Fifth Round - Phillies 1996), Jim Howard (Sixth Round - Orioles 1983) and Todd Donovan (Eighth Round - Padres 1999) are the only players in program history to be drafted higher than Gage.
A 6'4", 240-pound left-handed pitcher, Gage went 4-7 with a 4.50 ERA in 16 starts with four complete games this spring. He broke his own program single-season record with 90 strikeouts and stands second in school history with 212 strikeouts for his career.
Gage was sensational down the stretch, hurling a 10-inning, 130-pitch performance allowing just one earned run in his MAAC Tournament start as the Saints went on to capture the program's fifth conference title and first since 1999. In the NCAA Tournament last Friday, Gage went toe-to-toe with No. 16/10 TCU ace Brandon Finnegan who was drafted 17th overall in the First Round by the Kansas City Royals. Gage matched Finnegan pitch for pitch, going the first nine innings allowing just six hits and one earned run while striking out five as the Saints narrowly missed upsetting the eventual regional champions with a 2-1 loss in 11 innings. Gage was later named to the All-Fort Worth Regional Tournament Team.
Gage emerged on the scene during his sophomore season in 2013. He was named a First Team All-MAAC selection and following the season pitched with the Chatham Anglers where he was named an All-Star in the prestigious Cape Cod League.
"The Giants are a great organization," added Gage. "They have a proven track record of drafting guys who make it to the big leagues. Siena prepared me for this opportunity and Coach (Tony) Rossi really helped me throughout the process. It's been a lot of fun to be a part of the Siena College family and be able to start my career on a high note after all that we accomplished as a team this spring."
Should he sign, Gage would become the 42nd former Saint to ink a professional baseball contract and one of six former Saints currently under contract with a Major League organization.
Justin Brantley recently signed a minor league free agent deal with the Cleveland Indians and is set to pitch with their Class-A New York-Penn League Affiliate, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. Mike Fish, a 32nd Round pick of Los Angeles in last year's draft, currently plays for the Angels' Class-A Midwest League Affiliate the Burlington Bees. A pair of former Saints are currently at the Double-A level, Anthony Giansanti with the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs) and Dan Paolini with the Jackson Generals (Mariners). John Lannan pitched in the major leagues earlier this season with, and is a member of, the New York Mets organization.
Four Saints - Billy Harrell (Indians, Red Sox), Gary Holle (Rangers), Tim Christman (Rockies) and Lannan (Nationals, Phillies, Mets) - have previously reached the major leagues.