Baseball Announces Signing Class
The Presbyterian College baseball team and head coach Elton Pollock announced the signing of 16 student-athletes on Monday. The group will begin classes later this month and join the squad for the 2017 season.
Elton Pollock, a 1995 graduate of Presbyterian College, will begin his 13th season as head coach of the Blue Hose baseball program in 2016. Pollock follows Tim Corbin and Doug Kovash, respectively, as the third head coach to lead the program since its reinstatement in 1988.
Last season, Pollock led the Blue Hose to its second straight 27-win season, tying the program’s Division I era single-season record for wins. PC made the biggest gains in conference play in 2016, winning a school record 12 Big South games, a six-game improvement from 2015. The team went on to make its first appearance in the Big South Championship in just its fourth year of being eligible for the event. The team set a number of records in 2016, both at the plate and on the mound, with PC setting single-season records for runs scored (321), RBIs (286), doubles (114) and stolen bases (67), in addition to opponent batting average (.263) and strikeouts per nine innings (7.06).
Under Pollock’s guidance, outfielder Weston Jackson racked up a number of different honors in 2016, including a third team All-America honor by Collegiate Baseball. Jackson was also tabbed as a second team All-Region player and second team All-Big South outfielder. He went on to set the program’s D1 single-season record for doubles (27) and intentional walks (11), while tying the single-season record for runs (47) and ranking in the top five in a number of other categories.
In 2015, Pollock helped the program to a PC Division I-record 27 wins that included victories over South Carolina, Clemson, UCF (No. 7 at the time) and Indiana (No. 22 at the time). PC ended the season by winning its final seven midweek games and won 21 non-conference games, another program Division I record. Pollock’s guidance helped PC earn a First Team All-Big South honoree and an Honorable Mention selection while setting new Division I records in runs scored, strikeouts and strikeouts per game. The Blue Hose posted winning records at the PC Baseball Complex and against other South Carolina programs.
Parker Bangs is set for his second season as the pitching coach at PC in 2017.
The Blue Hose pitching made significant strides in 2016 in his first season with the program. Bangs helped PC to its second straight 27-win season, tying the school’s Division I era record for victories. In addition, PC also established a school record with 12 Big South victories, a six-game improvement from 2015, and made its first appearance in the Big South Championship.
Last season, the pitching staff held opposing hitters to a .263 batting average, the team’s best single-season mark in its Division I era. PC pitchers also set the school’s Division I era record for strikeouts per nine innings at 7.06, while ranking second for a single-season in ERA with 5.02 mark. PC pitching totaled 500.2 innings pitched, a D1 era program record, but allowed the second-fewest hits (509) in its D1 era.
Gil Walker is in his first season at Presbyterian, 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.
McDonald is in his first season at Presbyterian, joining the coaching staff in August 2017.
McDonald comes to PC after four seasons at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, N.C., including three as hitting coach. There he led the team to a school record for home runs in each of his three seasons as a full-time coach, culminating with 63 last season compared to just 13 prior to his arrival. He coached the NJCAA National Player of the Year Chandler Jenkins, who batted .460 with 18 home runs and 74 RBIs last season, and two Region 10 Players of the Year in Jenkins and Ty Andrus.
McDonald has also spent time coaching in the collegiate summer leagues throughout the past three seasons. He served as associate head coach of the Statesville Owls in 2015, head coach of the Lenoir Oilers in 2016 and assistant coach for Lexington County Blowfish in 2017. McDonald led the Oilers to the CVCL Championship as the head coach in 2016, as the team compiled a 39-17 record and led the league in home runs (50), doubles (112) and RBIs (357).