By PAUL GOTHAM
Penfield High School standout Gage Ziehl was chosen by Chicago Cubs in the 11th round (334th overall selection) of the 2021 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
A University of Miami commit, Ziehl is the third player in Penfield program history to be selected in the MLB Draft.
The Prep Baseball Report NYS Player of the Year and Section V Class AA Player of the Year finished 2021 with a record of 5-0 and a save in leading Penfield to its first sectional title since 2012. Ziehl struck out 91 of the 135 batters he faced this season. He allowed one run on 10 hits and seven walks to finish with an ERA of 0.17. Opposing batters hit .079 against him. At the plate, he hit .438 with eight extra-base hits including five home runs. He had an on-base percentage of .554 and OPS of 1.273.
The right-hander pitched 120 innings during his varsity career at Penfield. He struck out 202 batters while walking 27 and allowing 85 hits. He finished with an ERA of 0.875.
Former Section V players have been chosen in 14 of the past 15 MLB Drafts with only the shortened 2020 draft not including any former players from the area.
Canandaigua’s Tanner Cooper was taken in the 2019 draft while Adam Scott (Canandaigua), Greg Cullen (McQuaid Jesuit), Victor Cavalieri (Northstar Christian) were selected in 2018. Cooper, Scott and Cullen are all currently active in minor-league baseball along with Steven Klimek (Greece Arcadia).
Former New York Yankees first-round draft pick Cito Culver (Irondequoit) plays with the Sussex County Miners of the Independent Frontier League.
Kanzler, then at the University of Buffalo, was a 20th round selection of the Minnesota Twins. The centerfielder went on to play three years in the Twins’ system.
The Baltimore Orioles chose Ludwig in the 29th round of the 1985 draft. The right-hander threw three years with the Orioles reaching as high as Class A with Newark then of the New York-Penn League.
Penfield’s Pat Urckfitz signed a free agent deal with Houston in 2008. The former MCC Tribune spent eight years in the minors including parts of four seasons in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.
To view the complete list of former Section V players chosen in the MLB Draft click HERE.