The Baseball Observer Feb 2015 vol 1 - Page 60

Q: Cumberland is an NJCAA Division III affiliated school, many parents, players and some high school coaches assume that the caliber of baseball played at a JUCO school is not as good as that played at an NCAA DI, DII or DIII program. How do you respond to that? A: We play full fall seasons against NCAA DII and DIII teams and compete very well against them. Good JUCO's have a mix of players that NCAA schools may not be able to have depending on many different circumstances. We have some kids that are draftable, DI, DII, DIII caliber... etc. Q: In the first year being the Head coach you played 42 games with a roster of only 18 players and still made it to the Regional playoffs. Impressive. How did you do that? A: We were motivated and had a tough group of 18 kids. We had two quality arms which always help. I made sure that we were defensively sound, could run bases and bunt. We did not have great talent but we did do those small things well. Because of that we were able to steal some games. The motivation came from the fact that not many respected us and rightfully so. The three seasons before we arrived they had won 8, 4 and 4 games. Q: You went from an 18 man roster your first year to having to recruit 30 players for the next season. How were/are you so successful at recruiting good players to Cumberland? A: The coaching staff was everywhere and we were relentless. We sold our program in that they would develop and have a chance to play at a higher level after our program. We also secured a couple of good area kids in Anthony Lopez and Cody Stashak. Getting commitments from those two helped open the door to other recruits. Both young men are now playing at DI schools on scholarship. Anthony is at Campbell University and Cody is at St. John's University. Q: So, your first year as head coach you took the team to the Regional playo fg2v