Elkins High School’s Gainer signs to play at WVU Tech
ELKINS — Elkins High School baseball standout Matthew Gainer signed a letter-of-intent to play baseball at West Virginia University Institute of Technology this week.
The senior left-handed pitcher has been dominant for the Tigers the past two seasons and because of this, had offers from several different schools. But in the end, he said WVU Tech had the most to offer.
“I kind of wanted a small school whenever I was looking and it’s smaller, and it was the best academically for me,” said Gainer. “I can get the major I want and be able to play baseball down there. So overall it was the best fit for me.”
Gainer, who will major in civil engineering, said he was also impressed with the campus and baseball facilities at the Beckley School.
“The baseball field down there is an all-turf field and it’s really nice,” he said. “And the campus is small, which is what I was looking for.”
Gainer will be suiting up next season for former Davis & Elkins College coach and player Lawrence Nesselrodt, who is in his 11th season at WVU Tech. In 35 years of coaching, Nesselrodt has compiled 579 coaching victories.
“I’m definitely excited to play for coach Nesselrodt,” he said. “He’s a really good guy and a great baseball coach.”
Nesselrodt is equally happy to have Gainer as part of next season’s class at WVU Tech.
“The quality of a person Matthew is was a major attraction,” said Nesselrodt. “And the simple fact that you have a left-handed pitcher that throws strikes and gets people out is also a plus. The combination of everything together and the overall character of Matthew made it a no-brainer. He’s the kind of guy you build championship teams with and we’re excited to have him join us.”
In 2018 Gainer was named Big 10 Conference Pitcher of the Year. He was also selected to the Class AA, All-State second team last season.
He hasn’t missed a beat in 2019, helping lead the Tigers to a 16-9 overall mark. He is currently 6-2 on the season and has allowed just seven earned runs in 40 innings pitched. Gainer, who has 65 strikeouts and a 1.32 ERA, also leads the team in hitting with a .421 batting average.
“Mathew has been everything you could ask for the past four seasons,” said Elkins coach Jack Crumm. “The last two years he has been as good as anybody in the state when it comes to pitching. And as hard as he works, you can bet he’ll continue to be successful at the next level.”
Gainer is the son of Jim and Marisa Gainer of Elkins.