Chris Webb

Illinois Baseball: 2019 Schedule Released

Champaign, Ill. — The Illinois baseball team and head coach Dan Hartleb released the 2019 Illini schedule.

2019 Illinois Baseball Schedule
» 52 games (plus two fall games)
» 22 games at Illinois Field
» Feb. 15 season opener vs. Georgetown (at Wake Forest)
» March 15 home opener vs. Southern Illinois
» March 29 Big Ten opener at Iowa
» April 5 Big Ten home opener vs. Maryland
» Four Big Ten home series: Maryland, Penn State, Indiana, Purdue
» Four Big Ten road series: Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Michigan State
» Four Big Ten byes: Michigan, Northwestern, Ohio State, Rutgers

Illinois Baseball to Travel to Aruba and Curaçao

Champaign, Ill. –The Illinois baseball team will travel to Aruba and Curaçao in November, head coach Dan Hartleb announced. The Illini will play six games beginning Nov. 18 against former pro players, current pros and up-and-coming amateur prospects.

NCAA regulations allow teams to make foreign trips once every four years. This will be the Illini’s second foreign trip in program history following its week-long trip to the Dominican Republic in 2014. Illinois followed the Dominican trip with its best season in program history, winning 50 games and advancing to the NCAA Super Regional in 2015.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to take our student-athletes to Aruba and Curaçao,” said Hartleb. “Our last foreign trip was extremely beneficial to our team and our student-athletes. All of our players will be able to learn on and off the field.”

The trip is being funded by the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and through the generous support of the Fighting Illini Dugout Club. The trip will serve three purposes: baseball, education and community service. In addition to baseball, the Illini will learn about the culture and donate their time through service activities.

“One of the main things we will do is spend time with kids in the community,” said Hartleb. “It will be a great opportunity for our student-athletes to gain experiences and give back to the game of baseball.”

Illinois plans to spend Nov. 18-20 in Curaçao before traveling to Aruba Nov. 21-23. Full coverage of the trip will be available on FightingIllini.com and @IlliniBaseball on Twitter.

Migliaccio Joins Iowa Baseball Coaching Staff

Iowa City, Iowa — Joe Migliaccio has been named the University of Iowa baseball team’s volunteer assistant coach, head coach Rick Heller announced Thursday. Migliaccio will serve as the Hawkeyes’ hitting coach.

“I am thrilled that coach Heller and his staff have presented me with the opportunity to be part of the Iowa baseball program,” said Migliaccio. “I can’t want to get started and continue to develop our players at the highest level possible.”

Migliaccio joins the program following coaching stints at Murray State, Missouri, Southeast Missouri State, and Siena College.

“We are excited to have Joe join our staff,” said Heller. “Joe will bring a great deal of experience and success to our program. He has worked with some quality people and programs in his career. Joe is an excellent hitting coach and I believe that our players will love working with him.”

During his lone season as the hitting coach and recruiting coordinator at Murray State, Migliaccio helped lead a transformation in the Racers’ offense. Murray State ranked in the top-20 in the nation in walks, on-base percentage, and runs, while ranking in the top 31 nationally in slugging percentage (26th), doubles (29th), and home runs (31).

Three players earned All-Ohio Valley Conference honors with Grant Wood being selected as the OVC Freshman of the Year.

Prior to making the move Kentucky, Migliaccio spent the 2017 season as a graduate assistant at Missouri. He helped guide the Tigers to their best record since 2008, a season where the team finished 36-22. At Mizzou, Migliaccio was responsible for defensive development, while assisting offensively.

As a result, the Tigers’ fielding percentage improved seven points in 2017. He also was key in implementing the Pitch Recognition System and helped two players get drafted in the 2017 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Migliaccio spent the 2016 season at Southeast Missouri as a volunteer assistant coach, helping the Redhawks to the 2016 OVC regular season and tournament championships and a berth into NCAA Regionals. He coached four All-OVC selections and one player who was selected in the MLB Draft.

In 2014 and 2015, Migliaccio served as a volunteer assistant at Siena College. He also spent the summer of 2014 as an assistant coach with the Liberal Bees in the Jayhawk Baseball League.

As a player, Migliaccio was an infielder at Florida International (2009-10), Parkland College (2010-12), and Oral Roberts (2012-14). The West Melbourne, Florida, native graduated cum laude from Oral Roberts in 2014 with a degree in recreation administration with a minor in humanities. He earned his master’s degree in education from Missouri in 2018.

McDevitt to Minnesota assistant coach

Minneapolis — Head coach John Anderson will keep it within the Gopher Baseball family as Minnesota announces the promotion of volunteer pitching coach Ty McDevitt to fill the vacant assistant coaching position left by the retired Rob Fornasiere. McDevitt’s elevation comes after two seasons as a volunteer coach where he returned to his alma mater after a four-year pitching career for the Gophers.

“The retirement of Rob Fornasiere, whose outstanding work for the past 33 years significantly contributed to the many successes of the program on and off the field, leaves a void that will be challenging to overcome. With that being said, I am grateful and excited that Ty McDevitt, an alumni of our program, has agreed to join our coaching staff as the pitching coach and begin this important process of re-centering our coaching staff for the future,” said Anderson. “Over the last seven years, I have been able to observe the outstanding work of Ty as a student- athlete and volunteer coach, and the results have been impressive.”

In two seasons under McDevitt’s tutelage, Minnesota’s pitching staff has posted a combined 3.68 ERA and 1.26 WHIP while striking out 7.36 batters per nine innings and limiting walks, just 3.45 per nine. The Gophers improved in nearly every major statistical category year-over-year from McDevitt’s first year in 2017 to 2018, with more victories, shutouts, and strikeouts and fewer walks, hits, and earned runs allowed than the previous season. Minnesota is 80-36 over the past two seasons.

“Ty possesses a very high baseball IQ as it relates to developing a pitching staff that can compete at a consistent, optimal level,” added Anderson. “He has also displayed the characteristics of integrity, loyalty, and passion along with a hardworking commitment to the daily process of coaching and mentoring our student-athletes as we prepare them for the next 50 years of their lives. Ty will also make a strong impact in our recruiting efforts. In the past two seasons, he has built trusted and respected relationships with the players and that will be impactful, as we identify and recruit future student-athletes to the Golden Gopher Baseball Family.”

While claiming the 2018 Big Ten Regular Season and Tournament Titles and earning the program’s first bid to the Super Regional round, the Maroon & Gold ranked 10th in the nation and second in the Big Ten with a 3.23 ERA this season and eighth in the country but first in the Big Ten with 1.21 base runners allowed per inning.

Last season, McDevitt also helped hone the skills of All-American rookie starting pitcher Patrick Fredrickson, who was also named the conference’s Pitcher and Freshman of the Year, and All-American first-year relief pitcher Max Meyer as well as 2018 MLB Draft picks Jackson Rose, selected in the 35th round by the Miami Marlins, and Reggie Meyer, selected in the 38th round by the Texas Rangers.

“I’m thankful to Coach Anderson for entrusting me in this role, and I am excited help build upon the rich tradition of Gopher Baseball,” said McDevitt. “After playing in the program and serving in the Volunteer Pitching Coach role the previous two years, it is obvious that the University of Minnesota and the Golden Gopher Baseball program is an ideal fit. Now, it’s time to get to work.”

McDevitt originally took the reins of the Gophers staff from long-time pitching coach Todd Oakes in 2017. In that time, the team has seen a pair of relievers each achieve a program record with 16 saves in a season in Brian Glowicki in 2017 and Max Meyer in 2018. The team has also produced three All-Big Ten First Team pitchers in Fredrickson, Meyer, and Lucas Gilbreath, and two All-Big Ten Second Team pitchers in Glowicki and Reggie Meyer. McDevitt also had a hand in the careers of 2017 MLB Draft selections of Gilbreath, taken in the seventh round by the Colorado Rockies, and Glowicki, a 10th-round pick of the Chicago Cubs. At the time, Gilbreath’s selection was the highest draft position for a Gophers player since 2013.

Matt Angle Named Ohio State Assistant Coach

Columbus, Ohio — Ohio State baseball head coach Greg Beals announced the hiring of Matt Angle as an assistant coach Wednesday. Angle, a Buckeye standout from 2005-07, has been a part of the baseball support staff as the volunteer video coordinator the last four seasons.

“I am really excited for Matt to join our coaching staff,” Beals said. “His passion for this university, knowledge for the game and ability to communicate and relate to the players will be a great asset. Matt’s skills compliment me and this coaching staff.”

As volunteer video coordinator, Angle helped the Buckeyes to the 2016 Big Ten Tournament title and NCAA Regional appearances in 2016 and 2018.

“It is an honor and privilege to become an assistant coach at The Ohio State University. This is home and I am excited to have the opportunity to develop student-athletes that represent Buckeye Nation. I would like to thank my family, especially my wife Jaclyn and Coach Beals for this opportunity.”

Angle, a native of Columbus, Ohio, was a two-time All-Big Ten selection and 2007 team captain. In just three seasons with the Scarlet and Gray, he is listed in multiple career batting categories in the Ohio State record book, including third in stolen bases (60), 14th in batting average (.351), 16th in runs scored (151) and 24th in hits (209). After earning All-Big Ten Tournament honors as a freshman in 2005, Angle led the Buckeyes to the Big Ten Tournament title as a junior in 2007 with a team-high .366 average. He helped the Scarlet and Gray to NCAA Regional appearances in both 2005 and 2007.

Angle was drafted in the seventh round by the Baltimore Orioles and played nine professional seasons with the Orioles, Dodgers, Marlins and Athletics. Angle resides in Upper Arlington with his wife Jaclyn, and baby daughter, Payton.

Angle replaces Chris Holick who has moved on from Ohio State to pursue other opportunities.

Mercer Adds Held, Parker and Dykes to Coaching Staff

Bloomington, Ind. — Indiana baseball head coach Jeff Mercer announced the additions of Dan Held, Justin Parker, and Casey Dykes to his coaching staff on Wednesday. Held will serve as the program’s recruiting coordinator, Parker will be the pitching coach and Dykes will be the volunteer assistant coach.

DAN HELD

“I’ve known Dan for over 10 years,” said Mercer. “He hired me for my first coaching job with the Indiana Bulls directly after college. Working with him over the years it became obvious he’d make a terrific recruiting coordinator. His experiences in professional baseball as a player and coach will translate well to our player development processes. His many relationships with high school and summer coaches will make for a smooth transition into leading our recruiting efforts.”

“I am really excited to join Jeff Mercer and Justin Parker at IU,” said Held. “It’s going to be an awesome staff, and I’m really excited to get going.”

Held comes to Indiana after serving as the Executive Director of the Indiana Bulls Baseball Organization. He brings nine years of pro baseball playing experience and 16 years coaching experience, including four in the major leagues, to the Hoosiers.

The Bulls is a travel baseball organization based out of Indianapolis that has had the goal of developing homegrown baseball talent in the state of Indiana. Held oversaw the organization, that as of 2018, had a total of 26 teams that ranged from eight to 18 years old. He was responsible for hiring all the coaches within the organization.

Since joining the Bulls organization in November 2006, Held has seen four Bulls players reach the big leagues. Those players include Tucker Barnhart, Micah Johnson, Alex Meyer, and Cameron Perkins. A total of 80 Bulls players have been drafted since Held took over club.

A 42nd round draft pick in 1993 by Philadelphia, Held played nine total seasons in the minors in the Phillies and New York Mets farm systems. He returned to the Phillies organization in 2002 as a hitting coach with Batavia (Short-Season A) and then served as a bullpen assistant with the St. Louis Cardinals from 2003 to 2007 where he was a member of the 2006 World Series Champions coaching staff.

During his minor league career, Held hit 121 career home runs and drove in 474 runs. He spent three seasons at the Triple-A level, playing for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Norfolk.

Held and his wife, Lynn, have a daughter, Téa (14), and a son, Boston (10).

JUSTIN PARKER

“Justin and I played together in college, then were assistants together for several years, it’s been very gratifying to see him become one of the best pitching coaches in the country,” said Mercer. “Indiana University baseball is better in every way with Justin joining the organization. He is an incredible asset to our entire program, not just our pitching staff.”

“I couldn’t be happier to be back home in Indiana, to work with Coach Mercer again and to continue to build on the tradition here,” said Parker. “As far as recruiting Hoosiers and player development, I am just really looking forward to doing that here at home.”

Prior to joining the Hoosiers, Parker served as the pitching coach at UCF for two seasons. He was formally named pitching coach for the Knights on July 18, 2016 after spending the previous six seasons with the Wright State program as an assistant

coach.

During the 2018 campaign, Parker’s staff posted a 3.32 ERA, the eighth sub-3.50 ERA season in school history. Pitchers struck out 556 batters, good for second in program history behind 2001’s 597, while the Knights set a new program record with 7.1 hits allowed per nine innings and gave up the third fewest hits at 405. UCF’s bullpen had a strong year as well, as Knight relievers inherited 74 runners this season and allowed just 20 to score. Thad Ward was a first team all-conference reliever with a 2.88 ERA and a team-high 52 strikeouts in 40.2 innings of relief this season.

Under Parker in his first season with the Knights in 2017, the pitching staff was one of the best in the nation, finishing 10th in WHIP (1.22), 24th in strikeout-to-walks ratio (2.74), 28th in strikeouts per nine innings (8.9) and 52nd in walks per nine innings (3.26). The crowning achievement for Parker’s players was the fifth best ERA in the nation at 3.00. Freshman Joseph Sheridan and senior Robby Howell both won 10 games and finished tied for 13th in the country in that category.

Parker has consistently produced pitchers selected in the MLB Draft. Of his 12 draft picks, five have gone in the first 10 rounds. In just two years at UCF, Parker sent nine arms to the professional ranks.

Following the 2018 season, Parker and UCF had five pitchers selected in the draft, the most since 2002 and tied for the second most ever in school history. Thad Ward (5th Round, Boston Red Sox), JJ Montgomery (7th Round, Baltimore Orioles), Bryce Tucker (14th Round San Francisco Giants), Eric Hepple (27th Round, Colorado Rockies), and Cre Finfrock (29th Round, Toronto Blue Jays) each heard their names called.

UCF’s Jason Bahr was a fifth-round selection by the San Francisco Giants in 2017. He was followed by Robby Howell in the 10th round, who went to the Cincinnati Reds. Jordan Scheftz (23rd round, Cleveland Indians) and Andy Rohloff (37th round, San Francisco Giants) also heard their names called after one year under Parker.

Dating back to his days on staff at Wright State, Parker guided Jesse Scholtens to a ninth-round selection by the San Diego Padres in 2016. Fellow Raider Robby Sexton was also tabbed in the 14th round by the Boston Red Sox in the same draft. His first player ever drafted was Andrew Elliott in the 30th round of the 2015 Draft to the Baltimore Orioles.

Parker’s ability to work with freshmen and veterans has been showcased in seven All-Americans selections. At UCF, Joseph Sheridan (College Baseball News and Perfect Game) was tabbed as a Freshman All-American, and Robby Howell earned Collegiate Baseball All-American status.

His Wright State pitching staff had four honorees in Scholtens (Third Team) and Caleb Sampen (Freshman) in 2016, and Elliot (Third Team) and Sean Murphy (Freshman) in 2015.

In six seasons with the Raiders, Parker’s pitching staff helped Wright State to four Horizon League Championship Games, winning in 2015 and 2016.

The Raiders pitching staff enjoyed a great deal of success under Parker. In 2016, Wright State freshman pitcher Sampen was named Horizon League Newcomer of the Year, while senior ace Scholtens compiled a 10-1 record, which included the first perfect game in school history.

Parker’s pitchers guided Wright State to the Horizon League Championship in 2016. The Raiders posted a 46-17 record and ranked fifth in the country in walks per nine innings at 2.45, 33rd in ERA at 3.49 and 10th in WHIP at 1.2, all of which led the Horizon League. Scholtens finished the season 18th in wins (10), 70th in strikeouts (95) and 51st in walks allowed per nine innings.

The 2015 season finished with the Raiders leading the league in almost every pitching category, including ERA (3.54), strikeouts per nine innings (7.2), hits allowed per nine innings (8.84), shutouts (4) and WHIP (1.33). Luke Mamer was 19th nationally for fewest walks allowed per nine innings (1.19) while Elliot came out of the bullpen to record 11 saves.

The Raiders ranked in the top 100 in hits allowed per nine innings (8.64) and shutouts (4) in 2014, while Elliot posted 13 saves, good for 19th nationally. In 2013, the Raiders averaged 7.5 strikeouts and 8.98 hits per game to rank 46th and 99th, respectively.

Following a professional career, Parker returned to coach his alma mater in 2011.

Parker was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 43rd round of the 2005 MLB June Amateur Draft from Fort Wayne High School (Fort Wayne, Ind.) but opted to play for Wright State University. He was drafted again, this time by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 6th round of the 2008 MLB June Amateur Draft where he spent three years playing for the Diamondbacks minor league affiliates.

As a player at Wright State, Parker earned first-team Horizon League selections in 2007 and 2008, as well as second team ABCA All Region in 2007, and was an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District recipient in 2008.

Parker graduated from Wright State with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership in 2012. He is married to Angela Parker and is the brother of former MLB pitcher Jarrod Parker.

CASEY DYKES

“I coached Casey at Western Kentucky and then coached with him for a year, before he left to become the recruiting coordinator at Virginia Military Institute,” said Mercer. “His outstanding track record of player development and tireless work ethic will be driving forces in our program’s success. I’m thrilled to work with Casey again and we’re very fortunate he’s joining IU Baseball.”

“I am extremely grateful to Jeff Mercer and Indiana University for giving me this opportunity and believing in me,” said Dykes. “It is an unbelievable feeling for my family to join the Hoosier tradition and have a role in the vision of Coach Mercer. I have complete trust in his ability to lead and develop young men in this game and in life at the highest level. This is an exciting time in Bloomington and I understand the expectation at Indiana. I can promise the players, coaches, and entire Indiana family that they will get my very best every single day. Let’s go to work.”

Dykes comes to Indiana after spending the last four seasons with the VMI baseball program. He worked with the catchers, hitters and served as the program’s recruiting coordinator. He saw 14 of his players earn all-conference honors, five draft picks – including a school-record three underclassmen in 2018 – and his hitters paced VMI to two top-10 finishes in Division I home runs. His hitters posted 32 top-10 efforts among the VMI record books, and he coached two of the three players in school history to earn All-American honors.

During the 2018 season, Dykes’ protégé Matt Pita, who was named a Third Team All-American by ABCA, hit .389 with 14 homers, 21 doubles, 48 RBI, 23 steals and 163 total bases in his final year as a Keydet. He was drafted by the Yankees in the 12th round and also became the first VMI player to earn state Player of the Year honors in any sport. He also set new single-season school record in hits and total bases, while teammate Nathan Eaton – who was drafted in the 21st round by Kansas City – set a new school record in stolen bases.

Pita was one of Dykes’ student-athletes who earned SoCon Player of the Week awards, as the newest Hoosier assistant saw his hitters earn seven during his time at VMI, to go along with four National Player of the Week honors and a SoCon Player of the Month award. That Player of the Month was DH/1B Collin Fleischer, who became the school’s all-time home run leader during the 2018 season.

In 2017, Tyler Tharp, the senior outfielder who hit just over .200 in 2016, burst on the scene to hit .348 and earn all-SoCon honors, thanks in large part to his 16 homers and 143 total bases, a new school record in that stat. Collin Fleischer finished with 17 homers, the second-most in school history, and moved into third all-time at VMI in that statistic, while the Keydets as a team hit 77 homers, just one off the school record set in 2010.

In 2016, Dykes saw Pita earn Second Team All-State honors, Fleischer post the third-most home runs in school history en route to Second Team All-SoCon laurels and third baseman David Geary finish fourth in the SoCon in doubles. The team hit the second-most home runs in school history (surpassing the previous year’s total) and ranked in the top-10 in Division I in that stat for much of the season. Dykes, serving as recruiting coordinator, also brought in the first Perfect Game top-100 recruiting class in school history.

In his first year on Post, Dykes made an impact as star catcher Matt Winn was a Johnny Bench Award finalist, a Third Team All-American and a 14th-round MLB draft selection, while Jordan Tarsovich was also chosen in the MLB draft (22nd round, Dodgers). Both players also earned First Team All-SoCon honors, while outfielder Will Connerley was a Second Team all-conference selection. Despite missing nearly three weeks of action due to weather postponements, the Keydets hit the then second-most home runs in school history (surpassed the following season) and also ranked in the top-10 in program annals in runs batted in.

Dykes came to VMI in 2015, after spending the 2014 season as a volunteer assistant at his alma mater, Western Kentucky. He worked with the outfielders during that time, in addition to heading up team operations, baseball camps and team nutrition, which he also did during the fall of 2013. Dykes saw significant improvement from his outfielders during his lone regular season as a volunteer, as the WKU outfielders went from six assists in 2013 to 15 the following year. All three of the Hilltoppers’ regular outfielders hit over .300, with Anderson Miller leading the team with a .336 batting average that helped him earn Second Team All-Sun Belt honors.

During his four-year playing career at WKU, Dykes saw the majority of his time at third base. He finished his four-year stay at WKU as a .284 career hitter, playing in 185 games, including 174 starts. He posted a career .382 slugging percentage and a .373 on-base percentage, while belting 11 home runs and driving in 95 over four years.

Dykes holds a bachelors’ degree in sport management from WKU, in addition to a masters’ in athletic administration that he completed in 2014. Dykes and his wife, Chaney, have a son, Jett.

Cooper Fouts Hired as Purdue Baseball Assistant Coach

West Lafayette, Ind. — Purdue baseball head coach Mark Wasikowski has completed his coaching staff for the 2018-19 school year with the hiring of Pepperdine recruiting coordinator and Indiana native Cooper Fouts as an assistant coach. Fouts joins recently hired pitching coach Elliott Cribby, assistant coach Greg Goff and director of operations John Madia to round out Wasikowski’s staff.

Fouts brings 13 seasons of collegiate coaching experience to West Lafayette, highlighted by five seasons over two stints at Wasikowski’s alma mater Pepperdine (2011-12, 2016-18). In his new role, Fouts will lead the recruiting efforts alongside Cribby. In addition, Fouts will coach and develop Boilermaker catchers and assist with the Purdue offense.

Fouts was born in Kokomo, Indiana, living there until his family moved to Indianapolis in 1990. He has three aunts that are Purdue alumnae and a cousin that is a current student. He attended high school in Las Vegas after his family moved west in 1994.

“Cooper has established himself as one of the hardest working assistants in college baseball,” Wasikowski said. “His energy, work ethic and positive attitude are all trademarks of what Cooper brings to the table. In addition to assisting in the development of multiple MLB draft picks, he has also constructed NCAA Regional teams at his previous stops. We are thrilled to bring Cooper, his wife Bri and their three children back home to the state of Indiana to join the Boilermaker Family.”

“My family and I are very grateful for the opportunity Coach Wasikowski has provided me to join the Boilermaker Baseball family,” Fouts said. “Coach Waz has done an amazing job putting Purdue baseball back in the national spotlight, and I am excited to work alongside him and the rest of the staff. When you combine a world class education and playing in the Big Ten, Purdue University is an unbelievable choice for any student-athlete looking to excel. Boiler up!!”

Fouts graduated from Las Vegas’ baseball powerhouse Bishop Gorman High School in 2001. He was selected in the 26th round of the MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics, but opted to enroll at the College of Southern Nevada. After one season, he made the move to the Division I level. He played in over 150 games as a three-year starting catcher for Texas Tech from 2003 to 2005.

Fouts helped Pepperdine win West Coast Conference titles in 2012 and 2018. He worked under current Baylor head coach Steve Rodriguez during his first term with the Waves. Wasikowski and Rodriguez were both starting infielders on Pepperdine’s 1992 College World Series championship team.

Current Pepperdine head coach Rick Hirtensteiner brought Fouts back to Malibu in the summer of 2015. Fouts has also served as an assistant coach at Utah Valley (2013-15), College of Southern Nevada (2007-10) and Lubbock Christian University (2006). His final season at CSN featured Bryce Harper winning the Golden Spikes Award and being selected No. 1 overall in the 2010 MLB Draft. The Coyotes won 52 games and finished third at JUCO World Series that season.

In Lubbock, Fouts caught future big leaguer Dallas Braden as well as his brother Nathan during his three seasons as a Red Raider.

In his second stint at Pepperdine, Fouts’ recruits helped the program post an 11-win improvement in 2018. The Waves won the WCC with a 17-10 record after being 8-19 the year prior. Pepperdine’s 2012 team won 36 games and was a finalist at the Palo Alto Regional.

Pepperdine has had multiple players drafted for seven consecutive seasons. All-American utility man Jordan Qsar, who led the WCC with 63 RBI and also recorded seven saves, headlined the Waves’ 2018 draftees.

Fouts also served as a recruiting coordinator at Utah Valley, where he helped the Wolverines win 71 games over three seasons. But more importantly, he helped build a roster that went on to lead UVU to 37 wins and an NCAA Regional berth in 2016 as the Western Athletic Conference Tournament champion.

In Fouts’ final season at College of Southern Nevada, nine pitchers were drafted that June and 14 more student-athletes were signed by NCAA Division I programs. CSN won three conference titles, two Region 18 championships and Western District tournament in 2010 during his four seasons on the coaching staff.

Fouts was part of a pair of NCAA Tournament wins as a junior at Texas Tech. He helped TTU’s 2004 team win 40 games and earn the No. 2 seed at the Atlanta Regional. As the Red Raiders’ starting catcher in all four games of the regional, he helped TTU defeat Mississippi State twice and earned a spot on the All-Regional Team. He was recognized as honorable mention All-Big 12 as a senior after again being among the top defensive backstops and top-throwing catchers in the league.

Fouts earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise sports science from Texas Tech in 2006. He and his wife, Bri, were married in 2010 and have three children – Harper, Emmit and Nash.

Jeff Mercer Named Head Coach of Indiana Baseball

Bloomington, Ind. — Indiana University Vice President and Director of Athletics Fred Glass announced on July 2 the hiring of Jeff Mercer as the 25th head coach of the Hoosiers baseball program. Mercer, a native of Bargersville, Indiana, is widely regarded as one of the top young baseball coaches in the country. Known for his strength as a recruiter and talent developer as well as his innovative use of advanced analytics, Mercer was named the 2018 Horizon League Coach of the Year with the Wright State Raiders. Mercer has recruited exceptionally within the state of Indiana and Midwest, developed twelve players he recruited into Major League Baseball draft picks since 2015, and led Wright State to 77 wins, including six wins against ranked opponents in just two seasons as head coach.

Mercer will be formally introduced at a press conference later this summer at a time to be determined.

“Predictably, we had very strong interest in this position,” said Glass. “Jeff Mercer quickly rose to the top of an impressive field. I have no doubt that he is the right person to build on the success of Indiana baseball, including taking us back to Omaha.”

Mercer takes over the Big Ten’s premier baseball program. Since 2008, Indiana leads the Big Ten in total wins, conference wins and NCAA tournament appearances. The Hoosiers have appeared in the tournament in five of the last six seasons. No Big Ten program has accomplished that run since Ohio State (1991-95, 97).

“I have loved baseball and the state of Indiana my whole life and it is an honor to be the head baseball coach of the state’s flagship institution,” said Mercer. “With the talent that the Midwest is producing, top notch facilities, the commitment of the school, and our ability to recruit and develop players at the highest level, the sky is the limit for IU baseball. I cannot wait to get to work.”

Mercer was named Wright State head coach in July of 2016 and was the first former Raider player to lead the program. In his two seasons at the helm, WSU posted a 77-38 record (.670; average of 38.5 wins per season), a regular season and conference tournament title along with an appearance in the 2018 Stanford NCAA Regional, and the program’s first ever national ranking in 2017. Mercer’s squads posted a 43-15 record (.741) in conference games over the two seasons.

Mercer brings a winning background to Indiana. In his time as a head coach (2017-18) and an assistant coach (2014-16) at Wright State, he has been a part of three Horizon League regular season and conference tournament titles, three NCAA appearances, and a combined record of 199-92 (.684). The Raiders won four NCAA tournament games over those three appearances, having reached the regional finals twice.

The 2018 Horizon League Champions, Wright State closed the season winning eight of its last 10 games and 15 of its last 19. The Raiders took home the league title with three-straight wins and outscored opponents 32-11 in the tournament. Mercer’s squad, which posted a 39-17 overall record and a 22-6 league mark, was one of the top offensive clubs nationally in 2018, as it ranked eighth in the country in scoring (7.8 runs per game) and stolen bases (110) and was 21st in on-base percentage (.394), while hitting .294 as a team. The Raiders’ .979 fielding percentage was 10th nationally.

Wright State was led by Horizon League Player of the Year Gabe Snyder, who paced the conference in home runs (15) and RBI (73), and was second in batting average (.359), missing the league’s Triple Crown by one batting average point. Snyder was one of 11 total Raiders who earned league honors, including five first team honorees (Snyder, Matt Morrow, Chase Slone, Peyton Burdkick and Ryan Weiss), four second teamers (Seth Gray, JD Orr, Zane Harris and Derek Hendrixson) and two named to the freshman team (Harris and Quincy Hamilton).

Wright State saw three players drafted in the 2018 MLB Draft, all of whom were drafted within the first 21 rounds. Weiss, a starting pitcher, was selected in the fourth round by the Arizona Diamondbacks (129th overall), as he posted a 9-2 record with one save and 92 strikeouts over 98 innings. Fellow starter Caleb Sampen was picked in the 20th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers, while Snyder went in the 21st round to the Minnesota Twins. Second baseman Matt Morrow additionally signed a free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In his two years as a head coach, Mercer made a name for himself as a recruiter. Wright State compiled its first ever top 100 ranked recruiting class (2018) in program history (87th nationally).

WSU received its first-ever top 25 ranking in 2017, finishing the year at 38-21 and 21-9 in league action. Mercer’s aggressiveness in the run game resulted in Wright State ranking second in the nation with 130 stolen bases.

Weiss was selected as the 2017 Horizon League Freshman of the Year and a first team all-conference selection along with Morrow. Pitcher Danny Sexton was named a second team All-League honoree along with Hendrixson and Gray. Both Weiss and Gray were selected to the All-Freshman Team while Weiss was later named a Freshman All-American and second team ABCA All-Midwest selection. Sexton signed a free agent contract with the San Diego Padres.

Mercer, who was a two-time All-Horizon League honoree in 2008 and 2009, returned to the Raiders as an assistant coach in September 2013. WSU set a school record for wins with 43 in 2015 and broke it again a year later with 46 wins.

He assisted then head coach Greg Lovelady, who is now the head coach at UCF. As an assistant on Lovelady’s staff, Mercer coached six players that were taken in the MLB Draft, including five in 2016. During Mercer’s three years as an assistant, the Raiders had 30 Horizon League honorees, two Horizon League regular season and tournament titles and two NCAA appearances.

Working with all aspects of the program, Mercer was the recruiting coordinator responsible for bringing in the majority of the talent. One of Mercer’s primary responsibilities was his role as the hitting coach. During the 2016 season, WSU’s 47 home runs were the most in a season since 2009. He also worked with the infield and outfield, and coached third base.

Mercer came back to WSU after serving two seasons as a volunteer assistant coach at Western Kentucky University (2012-13). While with the Hilltoppers, he primarily worked with pitchers and outfielders, but was also instrumental in the development and organization of baseball camps and handled other day-to-day operations.

Prior to WKU, Mercer was a volunteer assistant during the 2011 season at the University of Michigan. During his time there, he worked with the catchers and outfielders.

Before his arrival in Ann Arbor, Mercer spent the 2010 season as the graduate assistant coach at Ohio Northern University where he was in charge of the infielders and hitters and was the recruiting coordinator.

Mercer played two seasons at Dayton before transferring to Wright State, where he was a two-time first team All-Horizon League honoree as a first baseman. He was named to the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper All-American third team in 2009 after hitting .357 with 26 doubles and 74 RBI. He was also named the Horizon League Player of the Year in 2009 and was named to the league’s All-Tournament team after he tied the WSU single-season records for RBI, doubles, games played and games started. In 2009, the Raiders played in the Fort Worth NCAA Regional.

Mercer earned a degree in organizational leadership from Wright State in 2009. He and his wife, Stephanie, had their first child, Grady, born on June 20, 2018. Mercer’s father (Jeff Sr.) served as an IU baseball assistant coach from 1988 to 1989 and helped found the noted Indiana Bulls baseball organization.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT JEFF MERCER

“I have great respect for Jeff and his family whom I’ve known for 20 years. I can’t be more excited for Indiana baseball. There is now no better spot for player development than Bloomington, Indiana. I hope the boys are ready to work.” – Former MLB 8-Time Gold Glove Winner and 7-Time All-Star Scott Rolen

“After talking with Coach Mercer, you immediately know what he stands for, and that is winning. He is going to come to our program and develop us into winners on and off the field.” – Current IU Catcher Ryan Fineman

“After speaking with Coach Mercer, it became very obvious that our program will be in great hands. His confidence, experience, competitive mentality, and strong urge to win proved to me that we will be successful next year. I’m excited not only for this upcoming season, but for the future of Indiana University baseball as I believe Coach Mercer is here to stay and take this baseball program to the next level.” – Current IU Starting Pitcher Pauly Milto

“He’s an Indiana guy through and through. He is detail oriented and a standup guy. He is going to give the program, the University and the State of Indiana everything he has. He has the ability to bring this program back to the Omaha level.” – Chris Webb, 10Innings.com

Elliott Cribby Named Purdue Baseball’s Pitching Coach

West Lafayette, Ind. — Purdue head coach Mark Wasikowski has announced the hiring of Seattle University associate head coach Elliott Cribby as the Boilermakers’ pitching coach.

Cribby helped lead Seattle to 30-plus wins in 2015, 2016 and 2018. The Redhawks won a program-record 37 games and the Western Athletic Conference title in 2016. Three of the four SU players drafted this year were pitchers, headlined by lefty Tarik Skubal being selected in the ninth round. Another incoming signee that Cribby recruited was drafted in the 11th round. Cribby also coached Nick Meservey to WAC Pitcher of the Year honors in 2016.

“We are so excited to have Elliott and his wife Shannon joining the Boilermaker Family,” Wasikowski said. “Elliott is one of the most respected pitching coaches in the country and our student-athletes will benefit greatly from his expertise. Coach Cribby is known as one of the nation’s top recruiters and has been in high demand for several years from top-25 programs. We are fortunate to have the Cribby Family joining us here at Purdue.”

Cribby also pitched collegiately in Seattle at the University of Washington. He has been the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Seattle University since 2014. Previously, he was the pitching coach at Abilene Christian (2013) and the head coach at Mount Si High School (2011-12) in Snoqualmie, Washington.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity Coach Wasikowski has provided me to join the Boilermaker Baseball family,” Cribby said. “Mark has annually shown the country that he is very good at what he does and I am excited to join forces. Combined with a world-class education and tremendous athletic support, Purdue University is an exciting place to be for the very best student-athletes to grow and develop. Boiler up!”

Cribby replaces Steve Holm, who was hired as the head coach at Illinois State on June 22. Holm was also a successful pitching coach in the WAC at Sacramento State before joining Wasikowski’s first coaching staff at Purdue in the summer of 2016.

Cribby served as the pitching coach of the BRAVE team in USA Baseball’s Tournament of Stars in both 2015 and 2016. The 2015 squad won gold at the event. He led Mount Si to a state title in 2011.

Voted the best recruiter in the WAC by his fellow coaches in a D1Baseball.com poll, Cribby helped build a Seattle roster that featured multiple MLB draft picks in 2015, 2017 and 2018. The Redhawks had 18 players or recruits drafted total in his five years. His recruits earned Freshman All-America honors for three straight seasons from 2015 to 2017. Among those honorees, pitchers Zach Wolf and Skubal both went on to be drafted. Wolf recorded a pair of 10-save seasons and Skubal eclipsed the program’s all-time strikeouts record while fanning 106 in 80 innings as a senior.

Seattle’s pitching staff led the WAC in strikeouts for three straight seasons from 2014 to 2016. The 2016 team was tops in the conference in almost every pitching statistic and among the top 20 nationally with a 2.72 strikeout-to-walk ratio. That season’s staff recorded 448 strikeouts vs. 165 walks while surrendering only 18 home runs in 501 2/3 innings.

Cribby made at least 20 appearances in each of his three seasons at the University of Washington. As a teammate of Tim Lincecum in 2006, he recorded seven wins and 10 saves while pitching in 29 of the 61 games. He was named honorable mention All-Pac-10 that season and selected to the Rogers Clemens Award watch list going into the 2007 campaign. He made 70 career appearances for UW, recording 13 saves and a 2.13 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 151 1/3 innings. He was seventh in program history in saves and appearances entering the Huskies’ 2018 campaign.

Cribby earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Washington. He was selected as UW’s Sociology Student of the Year as a senior in 2008 and was also named to the Pac-10’s All-Academic Team. He earned his master’s in intercollegiate athletic leadership in 2009.

Cribby and his wife Shannon were married in December 2012.

Fitzpatrick & Liu Added to Rutgers’ Recruiting Class

Piscataway, N.J. –Both Brian Fitzpatrick and Tom Liu have signed to compete for Rutgers baseball, head coach Joe Litterio announced. The duo will join the Scarlet Knights this fall and make it 12 signings in the latest recruiting class.

NOVEMBER SIGNINGS | MAY SIGNINGS

Brian Fitzpatrick

LHP | 6-6 | 220 | L/S

Port Jefferson, N.Y./St. Anthony’s High School

Notes: A two-year varsity letterwinner at St. Anthony’s High School … from Long Island … played travel baseball for the Long Island Titans … son of Mary and John Fitzpatrick … father played basketball at the University of Buffalo … has four older sisters who competed in Division I athletics: Katelyn (volleyball at Cornell University), Julie (rowed crew at Cornell University), Megan (rowed crew at Indiana University) and Kelly (volleyball at University of Buffalo) … intends to major in business economics.

Tom Liu

RHP | 6-0 | 165 | R/R

San Dimas, Calif./San Dimas

Notes: Competed four years at San Dimas High School … school is in the San Gabriel Valley just outside of Los Angeles … named Scholar Athlete for holding a GPA over 3.0 … played travel baseball for the Socal Bombers from 2015-18 … also participated with SGV Arsenal from 2014-16 … son of Kelly Li and Russell Love … born in China … set to become first person in family to take part in collegiate athletics.

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