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Megill, Welmon Return to LMU
LMU right-handers Trevor Megill and Colin Welmon did not come to terms with the Cardinals and Pirates, respectively, after the pair were drafted in the 2014 MLB Draft. Megill, selected in the third round with the 104th overall pick, and Welmon, taken in the 34th round, will return to LMU next year to pitch for the Lions. read more
Jason Gill enters his seventh year at the helm of the LMU baseball program with the 2015 season. Under Gill's guidance, LMU has accumulated 32 All-WCC selections, three Freshman All-Americans, two WCC Defensive Players of the Year, an ABCA All-West Region selection, two WCC Freshmen of the Year, 19 Academic All-Conference selections, an Academic All-District selection, and 17 players drafted in the MLB Draft.
Gill's incoming class for the 2014 season was tabbed as the 34th-best in the nation according to Collegiate Baseball. LMU was just one of four non-BCS schools to make the list, and just one of five private schools lauded. The class was also tied for the best in the West Coast Conference. The Lions finished 2014 with a 32-24 overall record (best since 2004) and a 17-10 mark in the WCC to claim second place and a spot in the WCC Championship Tournament. David Fletcher and Austin Miller earned First Team Freshman All-American honors, including becoming the first duo to be tabbed in the same year by Baseball America. Fletcher also took home WCC Defensive Player of the Year in his freshman season, keeping the award with the Lions for the second straight year.
The 2013 season saw Gill's arsenal of talented pitchers finish the year with an LMU record 3.17 ERA, led by a trio of All-WCC selections in right-handers Colin Welmon, Aaron Griffin and Patrick McGrath. The Lions also featured the WCC Defensive Player of the Year in Colton Plaia and honorable mention selections in David Edwards, Zac Fujimoto and Cullen Mahoney.
Bryant Ward begins his fifth season as an assistant coach with the Lions in 2015 after joining the LMU coaching staff in 2011 as the Recruiting Coordinator, Infield Coach, and Third Base Coach. This past season, Ward added the title of hitting coach to his duties. In Ward's first season as LMU's hitting coach, the Lions showed a substantial jump in all major offensive categories, including posting their highest team batting average in the BBCORE era and the third-best in the state of California for 2014. Ward's defense, highlighted by 2014 WCC Defensive Player of the Year David Fletcher, also put on quite the show in 2014, managing a .973 fielding percentage (second in the WCC) and 53 double plays turned to lead the WCC and state of California.
LMU Assistant Coach (2011 - Current):
• 113-103 Overall Record with Ward on Staff
• 32-24 Record in 2014 - Best LMU Record Since 2004
• 21 All-West Coast Conference Selections
• 2 First Team National Freshman All-American Selections (2014) -- 1 of 3 Schools to Accomplish (Miami/Vanderbilt)
• 8 Players Drafted
Dan Ricabal, who spent six years serving as a pitching coach at various levels in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim organization prior to coming to LMU, will begin his fourth season as LMU's pitching coach during the 2015 campaign. Ricabal, who was teammates with LMU head coach Jason Gill at Cal State Fullerton in 1994, helped guide LMU to a 32-24 overall record (best since 2004) and a 17-10 mark in the WCC to claim second place and a spot in the WCC Championship Tournament in 2014.
Over the three years as LMU's pitching coach, Ricabal has guided his staff to a 3.80 ERA, including posting Top-10 LMU season ERAs in each year. Ricabal is also responsible for developing three of LMU's Top-10 best individual season ERAs, including Colin Welmon's 2.30 ERA in 2013 - good for fourth overall on the list and the best mark since 1971. Training under Ricabal in his first three seasons, Welmon enters 2015 with the third-best ERA in LMU history (2.86).
The 2013 season saw the Lions finish with a 24-27 overall record in 2013, including a 12-12 mark in the WCC. Ricabal's pitching staff finished the year with an LMU record 3.17 ERA, led by a trio of All-WCC selections in right-handers Welmon, Aaron Griffin and Patrick McGrath (honorable mention).
Volunteer Assistant Coach
Bobby Andrews begins his third year at LMU with the 2015 season, serving his second season as the volunteer assistant coach after a year as a Director of Baseball Operations. Andrews came to the bluff after a successful four-year playing career in the Baltimore Orioles organization and two years in Independent League baseball.
Like he has virtually throughout his tenure, head coach Jason Gill dipped into the former players of Cal State Fullerton file to find a coach in Andrews. With the addition of Andrews, LMU baseball now sports three (of five) former Titans on its coaching staff.
Andrews was drafted out of Cal State Fullerton in 2005, going in the seventh round to the Orioles. While at Fullerton, the speedy outfielder helped guide the Titans to a 2004 National Championship serving as its starting right fielder. Andrews hit .325 for the Titans in that Championship year, collecting 21 runs scored and 15 RBI as a sophomore. In his final campaign, Andrews hit .297 with 13 stolen bases and 23 RBI.
Director of Baseball Operations
Matt Florer begins his first season on the LMU coaching staff in 2015, serving as the Director of Baseball Operations. Florer, who finished his playing career as a Lion in 2013, threw only the second no-hitter in LMU history on April 23, 2013 against Cal State Northridge.
Prior to his return to the LMU baseball program, Florer spent a year working in politics serving as an office manager and working on a special election campaign in Orange County, Calif. Never wanting to leave baseball, he also spent the year serving as the pitching coach at his former school, Mission Viejo High School, where he guided the team to a school record 1.87 team ERA.
The left-handed pitcher finished his Lion career with a 5-7 overall record, making 11 starts and 73 career appearances on the mound for LMU. As a sophomore in 2011, Florer went 3-1 with a 2.41 ERA over a team-high 26 appearances.