Mercer Named Head Coach
Three years ago, Wright State Director of Athletics Bob Grant didn't go far to replace Rob Cooper, who accepted the head baseball coach position at Penn State. Grant did the same this time after Greg Lovelady accepted the head coach position at Central Florida on Monday. On Wednesday, he chose assistant coach and former Raider player, Jeff Mercer, read more
In July, 2016, Jeff Mercer became the fourth head coach in the history of Wright State baseball and he hit the ground running.
Mercer was tabbed by WSU Director of Athletics Bob Grant to guide the successful program that has back-to-back NCAA Regional Finals appearances and 124 wins over the three previous years. He is the first former Raider player to lead the program.
Mercer, who was a two-time All-Horizon League honoree for Wright State in 2008 and 2009, returned to the Raiders as an assistant coach in September 2013 and helped make an immediate impact on the program. WSU set a school record for wins with 43 in 2015 just to break it a year later with 46 wins.
“The accomplishments of our baseball team the last three seasons have been tremendous and historic–Jeff has been a huge part of all of those accomplishments,” Grant said. “I’m thrilled that he will be our new head coach. His unique background as a player and coach here and elsewhere make him a perfect fit to continue to build on the tremendous success we’ve already achieved. He fits our culture perfectly. I can’t wait for him to put his mark on our baseball program.”
Matt Talarico, formerly an assistant coach at the University of Dayton, joined the Raider baseball coaching staff in August, 2015. He serves as the infield, baserunning and hitting coach and is also the player development coordinator
While at Dayton during the 2011-15 seasons, Talarico oversaw recruiting as well as hitting, offensive production and baserunning. Under his guidance, the Flyers improved its base running game, setting many school marks and ranking among the nation’s best.
In 2015, Dayton continued their impressive base running under Talarico. The Flyers ranked 14th in the nation in steals per game and 15th in the nation in steals. Senior Robby Sunderman led the team with 21 steals.
Nate Metzger was named assistant coach/recruiting coordinator with the Wright State baseball program in July 2016.
Serving as director of athletics and head coach at Heartland Community College from 2006-16, Metzger was a four-time NJCCA Region Coach of the Year while 121 of 135 student-athletes continued baseball and academic careers at four-year universities, 84 going to Division I programs.
Metzger will assist WSU head coach Jeff Mercer with the day to day administrative duties, coach the catchers and assist with the offense.
Alex Sogard joined the Raider staff in August of 2016 as assistant baseball coach/pitching coach.
Sogard, who was drafted by the Houston Astros in 2010, has also played minor league baseball in the Arizona Diamondbacks and Baltimore Orioles organizations as recently as this season. He also works as the pitching instructor for several elite camps, including the Pro 5 Academy.
He started as a freshman at Oregon State where OSU won the 2006 and 2007 national titles before moving to North Carolina State for his final two collegiate seasons where they won the regional championship in 2008. Sogard was drafted the Diamondbacks in 2008 but chose to stay in school, ultimately being drafted by the Astros in 2010.
Student Assistant Coach
2015: Appeared in 40 games with 32 starts,mostly at catcher and DH…high two runs vs Xavier with two hits in four other games…two RBI at Northern Kentucky…hit .245 with 13 walks…2015 WSU Male Scholar Athlete of the Year.
2014: Second team All Horizon League…appeared in 41 games with 38 starts at first, cather and DH…hit .296 with 42 hits and 19 runs and 24 RBI…homered against Dayton…seven doubles with two against UIC…went five for five against UIC with six RBI…12 multi-hit games…three stolen bases…13 walks.
2013: Appeared in 28 games with 23 starts, mostly at catcher…also played first and DH…batting average of .228 with 12 runs and 18 hits in 79 at bats…11 walks…one triple and four doubles…four multi-hit games with three hits at Cincinnati when he also had three RBI…147 put outs with only one error.
Notes: Posted a .418 batting average with 15 RBI, six stolen bases and eight doubles…team made it to the third round of the state playoffs…team captain as a senior…team MVP as a sophomore and senior…all-league twice…majoring in management…born October 22, 1993…son of Neil and Gayle DeFevers.
Student Assistant Coach
2015: Pitched in six games with two starts…seven strikeouts in 9.2 innings…3.0 innings vs Cincinnati.
2014: Appeared in 15 games all in relief…14 strikeouts in 15.2 innings…pitched 2.0 innings against Cincinnati and Akron.
Notes: Also played football and basketball…education major…born September 16, 1993…two brothers and one sister…son of Mark and Tracey Burk.