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      Ithaca College graduate moving quickly through Oakland A's farm system

      Ithaca College graduate Tucker Healy has skyrocketed through the minor leagues, and is now just one step away from the majors.

      About a month after he graduated from Ithaca College in 2012, Tucker Healy was drafted as a pitcher in the 23rd round by the Oakland Athletics.

      The Newton, Massachusetts native Healy began his professional baseball career not too far away, playing for the Vermont Lake Monsters of the New York-Penn League (short season). He threw 29.1 innings in 22 games for the squad, boasting an ERA of 3.07 in the process, with 45 strikeouts.

      In 2013, he we sent to normal A ball, playing for the Beloit Snappers. He played in 18 games with an ERA of 0.94 before getting called up to Advanced A Stockton in the same season. He pitched in 15 games for Stockton, throwing 19.1 innings, striking out 31 batters. That season ended with injury.

      He started this season, 2014, with Stockton, but after boasting a 2-1 record, a 1.04 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 17.1 innings, he was called up to Double A Midland. He pitched well once again, appearing in 12 games, throwing 19.1 innings and ended up with an 0-1 record and 2.33 ERA before getting called up to Triple A Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League in June.

      "It's been like a roller coaster ride," Healy says. "It's really been a fun ride, ya know, getting to meet a lot of good guys, meet a bunch of good teammates and enjoy a bunch of different cities and stadiums."

      He's the youngest player on his team, a squad that includes former major league pitchers like Tommy Milone and Drew Pomeranz. He says he knows as the youngest he needs to be respectful and let the veterans run the clubhouse, but that hasn't stopped him from picking the brains of those veterans on the squad.

      While most of his teammates were high draft picks, either out of high school or a Division I University, Healy is one of the few players at that level from a Division III school, Ithaca College.

      "It's definitely pretty cool," Healy says of his status as a Division 3 athlete in Triple A. "Not many D3 guys get to where I am now. I think it's a testament that there's talent definitely in Division Three and of the ability that people have on that level."

      While at Ithaca, Healy had a career 2.96 ERA, an 8-5 record, and made 15 saves as the team's closer. He's 2nd All-time in Ithaca history in saves. He also was 14th in school history with 147 strikeouts.

      His Sacramento River Cats squad is on top of their division by 4.5 games at this point of the season, which means, with the Syracuse Chiefs also being on top of their division, there's a chance he and the River Cats play the Chiefs for the Governor's Cup. Individually, like every other minor leaguer, he hopes to get a call to the majors at some point, but says he's taking it one day, one pitch at a time.