By Ryan Atkinson
Globe Sports Writer
Once Matt Stalcup's feet hit the ground on Friday night, he reached to embrace his parents.
The Pittsburg State left-handed pitcher was back home in Wellington, Kan.,vwhen he got a call from the Oakland Athletics, telling him that they planned on taking him with their ninth-round selection in the MLB draft.
"I took about three really good 40-inch verticals when I hung up the phone," Stalcup said. "And then I hugged my mom and dad. I gave them really big hugs."
The Athletics lived up to their word, taking Stalcup with the 281st overall selection.
That makes Stalcup the highest draft pick from Pittsburg State since the baseball program was reinstated in 1991 and the second-highest in school history. Stephen Eagan was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the sixth round of the 1967 draft.
"Obviously, that's a really great honor and I¹m proud and humbled at the same time," Stalcup said. "I hope I can bring more notoriety to Pitt State. I wish for nothing but the best for the school and program."
Stalcup said he had been told by multiple teams that he could be taken Friday night or Saturday morning.
But he said that still didn't fully prepare him for the feeling that hit after the Athletics dialed his phone.
"I can't really describe the feeling I got when I got that call," he said. "After it all happened, it kind of felt like a dream for two or three hours. And then I finally came back down to reality."
Stalcup, who transferred to Pitt State for his final two years from Allen County Community College and then compiled a 14-10 record with a 3.82 ERA, said he will report Tuesday to Arizona and join Oakland's rookie league squad.
The Arizona A's schedule begins on June 20 against San Francisco's rookie league team.
"I just want to get out there as soon as possible and work hard,' he said. "Hopefully that will get me noticed and set me apart from everyone else."
Obviously, Stalcup hopes those are the first steps in a journey that one day leads to the stadium formerly known as Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, home of Billy Beane's "Moneyball" and a crop of young, talented, homegrow pitching.
Beane did, after all, draft pichers like Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito.
Dallas Braden -- he of the Mother's Day 2010 pefect game lore -- was drafted by Beane and the A's in 2004 in the ninth round, the same round in which Stalcup was picked .
Braden went on to spend five seasons with Oakland, compiling a 4.16 ERA before injuries knocked him off the roster.
"I couldn't be happier to be a part of the Oakland Athletics," Stalcup said. "It's a good place to be headed."