March 20, 2014
By: Steven McCartney, Sports Information Student Assistant
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State reliever Gage Smith (Tallahassee, Fla.) has been named one of 30 finalists for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate baseball.
The Senior CLASS (Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®) Award honors student-athletes that have shown excellence in four areas – community, classroom, character, and competition. The award encourages student-athletes to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
“This is a very special young man in that he was not on the team and not even allowed to be around the team when they were practicing for one full year in 2011,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin said. “But instead of feeling sorry for himself and not working to get better, he preserved; he went out every day and got stronger, worked on a delivery that he could perfect and all the while keeping his grades close to a 4.0.
“I am very proud of this young man as a Seminole. If anybody deserves recognition and appreciation, it’s Gage Smith – the way that he’s always been a great teammate and always encouraging others to do the job in the classroom and in the community.”
On the diamond, Smith has led the ACC each of the past two seasons in appearances and is on pace to do so again in 2014. Through 20 games, Smith leads the ACC with 15 appearances, ranks second in the league with a 0.87 ERA and eighth with a .174 opponent’s batting average. Smith began the season with a string of 13 innings over 10 games without allowing an earned run. For his career, Smith has made 89 appearances, all in relief, compiling an 11-2 record with a 2.35 ERA.
In the classroom, Smith was named the 2013 ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and is a four-time member of the FSU Dean’s List (3.5 GPA or higher) and three-time member of the FSU President’s List (4.0 semester GPA). He has also been honored on the All-ACC Academic Team each of the past two seasons and received the Golden Torch Award for the highest GPA on the baseball team during the 2011-12 school year. On pace to graduate at the end of the spring semester, Smith is double majoring in marketing and business management and hopes to use his marketing degree to work with a Major League Baseball team or work for a non-profit organization.
During his time at Florida State, Smith has encouraged teammates to give back to the community. Smith has given his time to the Miracle League of Tallahassee, in addition to providing instruction at several baseball camps. He also has talked about sportsmanship at local churches and reads to youth at area schools. On campus, he has taken part in several projects, including booster dinners and canned food drives.
Smith is one of three nominees from the ACC, along with Virginia’s Whit Mayberry and Miami’s AJ Salcines. Smith is looking to become the second Seminole to win the award. Former All-American and national player of the year James Ramsey took home the honor in 2012.
Candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the season, and final voting will take place among media, coaches, and fans. The winner will be chosen during the 2014 College World Series in Omaha, Neb. in June.
For more information on all the candidates, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.
2014 Baseball Senior CLASS Award candidates
Cody Apthorpe, Bowling Green State
Garrett Bayliff, Wichita State
Tim Colwell, North Dakota State
Kevin Courtney, Stony Brook
Dustin DeMuth, Indiana
Nick Favatella, Rutgers
Clinton Freeman, East Tennessee State
Jeff Gardner, Louisville
Matt Hicks, Louisiana
Jeff Keller, Dartmouth
Jesse Kelso, Canisius
Ross Kivett, Kansas State
Ryan LaGrange, UNC-Wilmington
T.J. Losby, Bowling Green State
Whit Mayberry, Virginia
Joshua McAlister, Arizona State
Andrew Morales, UC Irvine
Josh Nethaway, Albany
Steven Patterson, UC Davis
Mark Payton, Texas
Jordan Piche’, Kansas
Chase Raffield, Georgia State
AJ Salcines, Miami (Fla.)
Oscar Sanay, Cal State Bakersfield
Aaron Silbar, Columbia
Collin Slaybaugh, Washington State
Gage Smith, Florida State
Kevin Swick, Southern Cal
Ryan Thompson, Campbell
Derrick Workman, Mercer