BENNINGTON, VT- Southern Vermont College has recently announced the hiring of their new head baseball coach, Dave Gage. Gage takes over after serving as the team’s pitching coach in 2012 in which the Mountaineers finished 9-31 overall and 5-13 in the New England Collegiate Conference.
Mountaineer baseball is nothing new to Gage. From 2008 to 2011 Gage was the starting second baseman for the Mountaineers and served as one of the team’s captains during his final three seasons. His leadership and play helped guide his team to the NECC playoffs in the 2009, 2010, and the 2011 seasons. In 2011 Gage set several school records along with an NCAA record which helped get the Mountaineers to their first ever NECC Championship game. Gage is the NCAA record holder for career hit by pitches and is the school’s all-time leader in saves and hit by pitches. Gage also has the highest career on-base percentage in school history and ranks second in games played for the Mountaineers.
While the 2012 season has barely finished, Gage looks to get to work immediately. "This is an exciting time for this program and the future of the program," Gage said. "Having the opportunity to coach at your alma mater is a blessing. This program will have one goal from this day forward and that is to win a National Championship. We have a lot of work to be done in order to reach that point but I believe we have a great group of guys who can start the journey."
While this will be his first head coaching position at the collegiate level, Gage already has plenty of experience and success with running his own teams. In the summer, Coach Gage has been in charge of the Tri-County Bees U18 team which has qualified for two national championships under Gage’s guidance. In 2010, Gage’s team went 31-5 and finished fourth in the National Amateur Baseball Federation World Series.
Gage inherits a young team that is rich in talent and potential. The Mountaineers have several standout freshmen from this past season, most notably in Cody Labadia who was recently named as the team’s 2012 Most Valuable Player and Sal Sciara who was named the team’s Rookie of the Year. Labadia led the team with a .368 batting average and was second on the team with 35 RBI’s. Sciara was second to Labadia with a .350 batting average.
The Mountaineers are off for the summer but will immediately get to work when the athletes return for the 2012 fall semester. Gage expects his squad to be highly competitive when they return and compete immediately for the NECC Championship.