By ERIC X. VICCARO
HILLSBORO — Valle Catholic senior baseball player Jayden Gegg made it official earlier this month, signing a National Letter-of-Intent to join nearby Jefferson College.
The Vikings are currently 20-22 this season, but they won 16 of those games in the region and 14 in the conference.
Last week, Jefferson College competed in the regional tournament at Joe Becker Stadium in Joplin.
Gegg had a signing ceremony in the Valle Schools lobby, with teammates, family and Jefferson College assistant coach Harry Markotay all present.
“The winning tradition (at Jefferson), and their ability to develop players and get them to the next level really stood out to me,” Gegg said. “They have a really good coaching staff. During my visit, I could tell right away that this is the place I wanted to be.”
Gegg, who can both pitch and play a position, most likely will be a corner outfielder on the junior college level.
“Jayden is a self-made player,” Valle Catholic head coach Nathan Gegg said. “He’s worked hard to improve. He has plus attributes, in speed and strength.”
Gegg’s athleticism has helped him become a force in the Valle Catholic batting order.
So far this season, Jayden is batting .427 (35-for-82) with a .583 on-base percentage.
He has smacked four home runs with 36 RBI and 53 runs scored for the Warriors (26-4 record).
Coach Gegg said Jayden’s batters’ eye is another strength, having walked 31 times in 29 games this season. He also has 17 doubles, five triples and 13 stolen bases.
Should Jayden pitch in college, he’ll rely on a fastball that’s clocked in the low to mid-80s.
In addition to Valle Catholic, Gegg also has experience playing for the Ste. Genevieve American Legion Post No. 150 squad.
“It’s been a dream of mine ever since I was a little kid to play baseball at the college level,” Jayden Gegg said. “For about a year and half now, I have been working really hard in the weight room, and focusing on getting bigger and stronger. When I got offered, it was an amazing feeling.”
Gegg said he plans on majoring in accounting at Jefferson College, which has a stout curriculum in that field.
Jayden will add his name to the extensive list of Warriors who have advanced to play in college: Kolton Schilly (St. Louis Community College-Meramec, Missouri-St. Louis), Andrew Basler (SLCC-Meramec, Lindenwood, Belleville, Ill.), Andy Grieshaber (Quincy, Ill.), Dan Bergtholdt (Southeast Missouri State), Connor Basler (SEMO), Tyler Blum (Illinois College, Jacksonville) and Kellen Blum (Illinois College).
What’s more, Aiden Heberlie already has verbally committed to play for former Ste. Genevieve High standout Bret Bieser at the University of Missouri.
Jayden Gegg is the son of Joe and Kelly Gegg, and he was one of 35 Valle Catholic graduates to receive a diploma last Thursday.