Head Coach: UC Irvine
The fifth time was the charm for Mike Gillespie. After leading UC Irvine to five NCAA Tournament berths in seven years, the 2014 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Coach of the Year tacked on a fifth College World Series appearance to an already prominent coaching resume. It was the second post-season trip to Omaha, Nebraska for the Anteaters, who posted a 41-25 overall record, the fourth time a Gillespie-led team has reached the 40-win plateau. UCI toppled No. 1 Oregon State in regional action and followed that with a two-game sweep of Oklahoma State at the NCAA Super Regionals to reach the CWS. There the team handed Texas a 3-1 loss in the opening game before losing to Vanderbilt and the Longhorns to end the post-season run. At the end of the year, UCI was ranked in the top 10 in four polls with its highest rank of No. 6 by Collegiate Baseball.
The season was not without its bumps in the road. Gillespie’s Anteaters started strong, winning 12 of the first 15 games to open the season. The team posted a pair of win streaks, registering a 10-game stretch and then adding nine straight wins during Big West action. However, the Anteaters stumbled at the end of the regular-season, losing eight of the last nine contests. Still, the team earned an NCAA postseason berth, its eighth since reinstating baseball in 2002 and went on an incredible run that caught many of the baseball pundits off guard. Anteater pitching, long one of the foundations of the program, led the way again in 2014 as the staff logged a 2.76 earned run average, the best in program history. It was just the second time a UCI team had recorded a team ERA below 3.00. Pitchers Andrew Morales and Sam Moore both collected All-America honors. Morales was named the Senior CLASS Award winner while Moore won the Gregg Olsen “Breakout Player of the Year” accolade. Five Anteaters were drafted by Major League Organizations in the First-Year Player Draft and five also earned All-Big West Conference nods.
Gillespie, an American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Famer, reached a personal milestone last year, collecting his 1000th career win early in the year. He boasts a Division I lifetime record of 1037-615-2 and is in the top 30 among active coaches with a .657 win percentage. As theAnteater manager, Gillespie has produced the program’s only two Big West Players of the Year with Taylor Sparks, the most recent honoree winning the award in 2013. Ben Orloff, who was UCI’s inaugural Big West Player of the Year in 2009, is now an assistant coach on Gillespie’s staff.
Assistant Coach: UC Irvine
Ben Orloff begins his second season as an assistant coach with the Anteater program.
Orloff played with the Anteaters from 2006-09 and became the program’s first Big West Player of the Year. An accomplished shortstop, Orloff won the 2009 Brooks Wallace Award and was also the first Anteater player to win an American Baseball Coaches Association Gold Glove award. A three-time All-American, Orloff also was named to two NCAA Tournament teams and helped UCI to four post-season berths.
Recognized for his defensive talents, Orloff also evolved into a potent offensive threat, ending his collegiate career with a lifetime .320 batting average. Orloff is UCI’s all-time hit leader with 281 and owns the top mark in runs scored with 178. He leads all players with 241 games played and 877 at-bats. With 62 stolen bases, he is second in the UCI career annals and also dots the single-season records in multiple categories. Orloff led the nation two consecutive years in sacrifice hits and holds the NCAA single-season mark of 34 set in 2007 and in a career with 86.
Assistant Coach: UC Irvine
Daniel Bibona is in his third season coaching the Anteater arms and is coming off a banner year that was highlighted by ‘Eater pitching.
In 2014 the pitching staff set a school record by posting a program-best 2.76 team ERA, surpassing the previous mark of 2.95 (2011) and becoming just the second Anteater team to log an earned run average below 3.00. The Anteaters also pitched in a program-best 591 innings and posted 27 saves, eclipsing the previous high of 20, recorded in 2009 and 2006.
Bibona mentored Andrew Morales and Sam Moore to multiple All-America honors with the former winning the Senior CLASS Award, the same honor that Bibona captured in 2010. Moore, who struggled on the mound in 2013, became the NCAA, Big West and UCI single-season leader in saves with 23 in 2014. Moore was voted the Gregg Olsen Award, honoring the “Breakout Player of the Year”.
Assistant Coach: UC Irvine
Eric Deragisch is in his fifth year with the Anteater staff and makes the move to coaching ranks as the volunteer assisant after serving as the program’s Director of Operations for the last four seasons.
After a standout career on the field at UCI from 2008-09, Deragisch remained with program as the undergraduate assistant in 2010. He then assumed the position of Director of Operations in 2011 and enters his second season this year.Deragisch was an All-Big West first-team honoree and posted a .331 career batting average, along with 116 hits including 15 doubles, five triples and four home runs. He also had 55 RBI.
Prior to playing at UCI, he competed at Sierra College, where he was named to the 2007 All-Northern California Team and voted to the Big 7 All-Conference Team as a sophomore. He played 41 games and was second on the team with a .353 average while leading the team with 14 doubles and 34 RBI.