Baseball Releases Challenging 2019 SlateThe Presbyterian College baseball team announced a challenging 2019 schedule on Tuesday. The schedule, announced by head coach Elton Pollock features 10 games against ACC and SEC opponents including matchups with three 2018 NCAA tournament teams. Read More
Elton Pollock, a 1995 graduate of Presbyterian College, completed his 14th season as head coach of the Blue Hose baseball program in the spring of 2018. Pollock follows Tim Corbin and Doug Kovash as the third head coach to lead the program since its reinstatement in 1988.
In 2018, PC played in 19 one-run or extra inning games, and picked up 15 victories on the season. The Blue Hose earned Big South series wins over Charleston Southern, Liberty, UNC Asheville and Longwood. Pollock’s team also had nine of its one-run or extra inning games against Big South opponents, including three with the regular season and Big South Tournament champions, Campbell. On April 17, PC defeated South Carolina, 7-4, at Founders Park in Columbia, S.C., marking their first win over the Gamecocks since 2015.
The Blue Hose earned three selections to All-Big South teams. Infielder Jonathan White earned first team honors with outfielder AJ Priaulx and pitcher Ryan Hedrick earning a spot on the second team. Priaulx also earned All-Academic Team honors for the third consecutive season. Right-handed pitcher Tanner Chock signed a free agent contract with the Los Angeles Angels after graduating in May 2018.
PC totaled 46 home runs in 2018, the third-most in the Division I era, and had 10 different players contribute to the total. White reached base safely for 28 games between March 2 – April 20. Priaulx went 5-for-5 at the plate twice within one week, and White managed the feat a few weeks later. The pitching staff averaged a program-best 7.61 strikeouts per nine innings and 115 strikeouts looking.
Miller comes to PC from Inspiration Academy in Bradenton, Florida, where he was the post-graduate program’s head coach and director of player development since August 2017. While there, Miller oversaw all aspects of running the program including player development, recruiting, budgeting and games.
Prior to his time at Inspiration Academy, Miller spent four seasons as the pitching coach at the United States Air Force Academy. In his tenure with the Falcons, he helped elevate their pitching staff to new heights and several new school records. The bullpen collected a program-record 381 strikeouts in 2015 and then 385 strikeouts in 2016. The team posted a program-best 4.54 ERA in 2015, its lowest since 1979. That season, the pitching staff also held opposing batters to a .265 average, the lowest since 1974. Miller helped the program improve its win total from 16 in 2013 to 30 in 2016.
Miller saw three of his players drafted during his time at the Air Force Academy. Senior closer Ben Yokley struck out 45 batters in 34.0 innings in 2015 and was a 29th round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals. Yokley went on to pitch for the Johnson City Cardinals, in the Appalachian League (Class A), during the summer of 2015. Then in 2016, juniors Griffin Jax and Jacob DeVries were both drafted. Jax was coming off a 9-2 season where he posted a school-record 2.05 ERA and was a third round selection (93rd overall) of the Minnesota Twins. The Cleveland Indians took DeVries in the 38th round of the 2016 MLB Amateur Players Draft.
Gil Walker is beginning his second season at Presbyterian after joining the program in August 2017. Walker comes to PC after spending two seasons as the volunteer assistant coach at his alma mater, Samford University. There he worked primarily with hitters and catchers, while also working with pitchers on arm strength development and recovery. The Bulldogs saw seven players sign professional contracts and seven earn All-Conference honors in Walker’s two seasons with the program.
Prior to his time at Samford, Walker spent two seasons as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Lawson State Community College in Birmingham, Ala., serving under former Blue Hose head coach Doug Kovash. He served as the team’s hitting coach in addition to coaching the team’s infielders and catchers. During his time with the Cougars, 19 players went on to play at four-year schools, including seven at Division I programs, with the team making the conference tournament for the first time in school history in 2015 as the No. 3 seed.
Walker, a native of Birmingham, Ala., capped off his playing career with two seasons at Samford in 2011 and 2012, after two seasons at Wallace State Community College. He was member of the 2012 Bulldog team that is considered one of the best in school history, as they won 41 games en route to a SoCon Championship and an NCAA Tournament Appearance, advancing to the final of the Tallahassee Regional against Florida State.
Volunteer Assistant Coach
O’Neil comes to PC from the University of Tennessee at Martin where he spent one season as an assistant coach. He worked with all infield positions, base runners, assisted with team offense and coached third base while also overseeing team travel, field maintenance, scouting reports and other duties.
Prior to his time with the Skyhawks, O’Neil previously served as the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, a member of the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference, where he was responsible for managing all recruiting efforts and overseeing team offense and infielders during the 2017 season.
He served as the Hawks’ interim head coach from January 2015 through August 2016, leading the program to their most non-conference wins (nine) in 2016 and most conference wins (14) in 2015. Under his guidance, the program also saw its most wins over a two-year span (32) in over two decades. Not just focused on the field, the Hawks earned consecutive Male Team Scholar Awards for having the department’s highest team GPA and saw 25 MEAC All-Academic honorees. O’Neil also oversaw the program’s improved fundraising campaigns, playing facility, player equipment and community service involvement.