Two UIC Rookies Selected In Major League Baseball Draft|
June 19, 2001
Chicago, Ill. - A shot at playing Major League Baseball is every young baseball player's dream growing up and for three UIC Flames' pitchers that dream became a reality recently.
Incoming rookies Ryan Gehring (Burlington, Wis./Central Catholic) and Andy Sigerich (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove North) were both selected in the 2001 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft, while senior Steve Carlson (Newark, Ill./Newark) signed as a free agent with the New York Yankees following the draft.
A 6-foot-9 right-handed pitcher, Sigerich was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 31st round while Gehring, a 6-foot-4 left-handed pitcher, followed in the 33rd round as a pick of the Minnesota Twins.
"It's exciting when someone else agrees and recognizes that you're recruiting the right players and it reinforces that you're doing things right that will only strengthen the future of the program," UIC Head Coach Mike Dee said. "It's also a very unique thrill for the players."
Gehring, who has decided to put his professional career on hold and attend UIC this fall, was named a high school All-American recently after compiling a 0.51 earned run average with an 8-1 overall record as a senior. The Wisconsin Player of the Year and a First Team All-State member, Gehring tossed 68 innings and allowed just 33 hits and eight runs while striking out an impressive 135 batters. Opponents batted a stingy .142 against Gehring, who was the 977th pick of the draft.
Sigerich, who is undecided on his future plans, also enjoyed a stellar senior season as he compiled a 6-2 record with one save while finishing up with a 2.21 ERA. In 50.2 innings of work, he fanned 68 batters while surrendering 39 hits and 10 earned runs. Sigerich, who was the 928th overall pick of the draft, went on to collect all-state honorable mention and all-conference honors following the year.
A 6-foot-1 southpaw, Carlson capped off a stellar senior season with All-Midwestern Collegiate Conference First Team honors and finished his career as the Flames' all-time leader for wins (26) and strikeouts (258). Carlson led the Flames' staff this past spring with a 3.55 ERA and a 12-6 record while his 12 victories were the most in single season history. He is currently playing rookie ball with the Yankees in Tampa, Florida.
"It's a great opportunity for Steve - he's come an enormous distance," Dee said. "I would be surprised if he didn't do well this summer."
"It's been an exciting week and a half," said Carlson, who was caught off guard when offered a spot on their rookie league roster by the New York Yankees following the draft. "The Yankees have treated me very well and have given me a once in a lifetime opportunity."