Matthew Gatewood signs NLI, commits to UCM

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Contributed image Concordia High School’s Matthew Gatewood (middle) at his Letter of Intent signing. Also pictured are Concordia High School head baseball coach Nate Beissenherz (standing) and Matt’s parents, Ramona and the Rev. Dr. Alan Gatewood, of Concordia.

On Tuesday, Nov. 20, Concordia High School senior Matthew Gatewood signed his National Letter of Intent to play baseball at the University of Central Missouri (NCAA D II), in Warrensburg.
“Matt has dominated the competition the past two years and I believe him to be the best Class 2 pitcher in the state of Missouri,” Nathan Beissenherz, head coach of Concordia’s baseball team, told FieldLevel after Gatewood’s verbal commitment to the Mules over the summer.
Gatewood committed as a pitcher to UCM, a perennial powerhouse with two national championships and a plethora of major leaguers — and more importantly, multiple current minor leaguers, with a few knocking on the door of their respective MLB franchises’ 40-man rosters.
Although Gatewood has excelled as the anchor of Concordia’s starting rotation for the past two seasons — and there is no indication he would have any trouble earning his keep in the rotation, as he’s proven himself capable of working deep into games against excellent opponents over his three seasons at CHS — his 90+ mph fastball and devastating curveball would make for a dynamic closer at nearly any collegiate level.
Bullpen responsibilities could also open the door to contributing in the lineup, as Gatewood swings a solid stick with plenty of pop and is a threat on the base paths, as well. Although he is a natural infielder known to flash the leather from the left side of the infield, his intangibles paint a picture of a sound defender from at least four positions at the D II level — perhaps best at center field even, given his ability to use his long legs to cover large swaths of land quickly paired with an arm showing plus-plus potential after a few years in a collegiate-level weight program.
After attending a summer showcase at the university, the Mules started recruiting Gatewood. A good performance at one of their camps and a solid junior season with the Orioles and various summer baseball teams was enough to make UCM pull the trigger on offering a scholarship. An ambitious young man, Gatewood believes that UCM is the place that will help him get to wherever it is he’s destined to go.
“I’m planning on majoring in psychology,” Gatewood said. “My goal is still to get drafted out of UCM once eligible.”
In addition to baseball, Gatewood is a talented basketball player and musician (see Accomplishments). On the hardwood, he is a standout for the Orioles, played AAU basketball over the summer, and is on pace to join the vaunted 1,000 Point Club this season.
“He has been fascinated by spheres from the moment he first held one, so sports equipment naturally became some of his favorite ‘toys,’” Ramona Gatewood, Matthew’s mother, said. “Of all the sports Matthew has played or been exposed to, he loves baseball the best.”
“He has always encouraged others to play baseball with him, and has even been able to convince his grandmothers, who are very particular about their hairdos, to wear batting helmets,” Ramona said.
“Matthew is the type of person who will be successful at whatever he sets his sights upon because he not only is extremely talented in many areas, he practices and polishes his skills,” the Rev. Dr. Alan Gatewood, Matthew’s father, said.
“Matt’s interesting blend of competitiveness and compassion makes him a fine leader and teammate with good sportsmanship,” Ramona added.
“Matt will excel at the college level with his hard-working attitude, great character, high intelligence, and great athletic talents,” Beissenherz said. “I look forward to hearing about his college career’s successes.”

Accomplishments:
Baseball

—Second Team MHSBCA Class 2 All-State Pitcher — 2017, 2018
—I-70 Conference All-Conference — 2017, 2018
—MHSBCA Academic All-State — 2017
—Selected to Jr. Sunbelt Classic Tournament team — 2018

Basketball
—All-District — 2017, 2018
—I-70 Conference All-Conference — 2017, 2018
—KMZU Dream Team - 2018

Music
—“1” rating in district competition — 2017
—Earned silver at the State level (trombone solo) - 2017
—I-70 Conference Choir — 2018
—“Leadership Award” and “Outstanding Male Musician” for marching band — 2018
—“Best Marcher” award for marching band — 2017

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