Arguably, one of the most intimidating pitchers to come out of Branford High School, 2018 Branford Sports Hall of Fame inductee Brian Sager was certainly known as a great competitor who excelled at baseball and basketball in high school and played baseball collegiately for Stanford University and Georgia Tech.
A graduate of Branford High School in 1998, Brian’s stellar pitching attained All SCC New Haven Register first team honors in his junior and senior years and was Most Valuable Player in his senior year. Tonight’s inductee was a high school All-American selection in 1998. During his senior campaign, the Hornets captured a 15 and 5 win/loss record and made both the Southern Connecticut Conference and State tournaments. A transfer student from Amity Regional High School, Brian launched his way to a 7-3 record with a 1.33 earned run average. He was named a 1998 Preseason Prep All-American by Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America. He earned postseason All-American honors from Baseball America (first team) and USA Today (second team). Named the 1998 Gatorade Circle of Champions Connecticut High School Baseball Player of the Year and a two-time all-state selection, Brian went 11-0 with a 0.83 ERA with a prodigious 115 strikeouts in 75 innings as a senior to lead Branford to the number one ranking in the state and the State Class L Championships. His performance earned him team MYP honors and election to the All-Hammonasset team along with teammates Marc Potocsky and Steve Bray. Tonight’s inductee was also a three-year starting center on Branford’s basketball team. Brian also played for the USA Baseball team in the 13th Annual Goodwill Games held in Australia before signing a letter of intent to attend Stanford University. Off the playing fields, Brian finished third in the state in 1995 and fifth in 1996 in the National Spanish Exam while receiving Magna Cum Laude honors in 1996 and Cum Laude honors 1997 in the National Latin Exam. He graduated with a 3.897 GPA. Simultaneously, Brian was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 13th round but turned down the offer to attend college.
As a member on the Stanford baseball team, he was named a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball while establishing himself as the team’s third starter and finished the season with a 6-0 record and a 4.17 Era in 19 appearances, including 14 starts. Brian garnered Stanford’s Most Valuable Freshman honors while earning a key victory in the 7-4 NCAA Regional win over Nevada on May 30, allowing just four hits and two earned runs over 7.2 innings. He was 4-0 with a 3.86 Era in PAC-10 play (lowest conference ERA among the three Cardinal starters). In 2000, Brian was named to the second-team pre-season All-America team by Baseball America. He once again worked as the third starter in the Stanford rotation compiling a 6-1 win/loss record. During the post season, tonight’s inductee went 2-0 with a 3.46 ERA, notching NCAA Regional and Super Regional-clinching wins over Alabama and Nebraska to help the Cardinal to the College World Series.
The following year, he transferred to Georgia Tech and was designated a third-team pre-season All-American selection by Baseball America. He gained a victory in his Yellow Jackets debut on February 11 versus Nebraska. Brian collected his second win of that year working a four no-hit innings as a starter to beat Georgia State. His overall duty was limited by continuing stiffness and pain in his right arm and as a result did not pitch after May 8.
After recovering from the surgery, he signed professionally with the Chicago White Sox. Due to a reoccurring arm injury that required two additional surgeries, Brian was compelled to culminate his baseball career.
Brian is the son of Theresa and the late Daniel Sager and the brother to Jeffrey.