Senior pitcher Josh McCauley (Mercersburg, PA/James Buchanan) of the Shepherd University baseball team has been drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 21st round of the Major League Baseball draft.
Nathan Minnich, from Shepherd University, is the DII 2012 National Player of the Year. Minnich is a senior, 1B/DH, for the Rams. The senior from Waynesboro, PA, led the nation with a batting average of .500, OBP of .647, and Slugging percentage of 1.037. He was second in the nation in HR, with 21; 5th in RBI - 66.
Matt McCarty is in his third year as the head baseball coach of Shepherd University after being named as the interim head baseball coach in September 2012 and elevated to head baseball coach in July 2013.
McCarty’s Rams posted a 39-12 mark with a 35-9 record in conference play as the MEC regular season champions in 2015. Shepherd tied the school record for most wins in a season with 39. The Rams posted a record-setting 20-game win streak during the season. McCarty reached the 100-win mark when Shepherd handed Fairmont State a 7-0 setback on May 2.
McCarty led the Rams to a 39-14 overall record in 2014 and was named Mountain East Conference Coach of the Year as Shepherd posted a 35-7 mark in MEC play to capture the inaugural MEC regular season championship. The 39 wins tie the mark for the most wins in program history. Additionally, McCarty garnered NCBWA Atlantic Region Coach of the Year after leading the Rams to an appearance in the 2014 Division II Baseball Championship Atlantic Region Tournament as the number two seed.
In his first season at the helm of the program, he led the team to 28-20 overall with a conference record of 21-10. Since taking over the program, McCarty’s vision of elevating the program to nationally known premises is evident by the program’s efforts on the recruiting trail and work ethic that is instilled in the classroom and on the baseball field.
McCarty has been a staple in Shepherd baseball dating back to his playing days for Rams in 2008-09. During his time as a player, assistant coach and head coach, McCarty has been a part of 198 Ram victories. Along with being the program’s head coach, McCarty serves as the pitching coach for a staff that has experienced ample amounts of success in the past years. Since shifting to pitching coach duties in 2012, the team’s ERA has progressively dropped, with a team ERA of 4.49 in 2013 and a 3.51 ERA in 2014. While coaching at Shepherd, McCarty has coached 31 All-Conference performers, 16 All-Region performers, and nine All-Americans.
McCarty has had 15 players move on to the professional ranks including 2011 first round pick Cory Spangenberg. Over the past few years, the Rams have had two individuals drafted by Major League Baseball clubs (Nathan Minnich — 8th round Boston Red Sox, Josh McCauley — 21st Chicago Cubs).
McCarty played for the Rams from 2008-09. He earned NCBWA All-American accolades in the 2008 after posting an 8-2 record on the mound with 1.91 ERA and a .353 batting average for the Rams. In 2009, McCarty set a program record for single season strikeouts with 94 in 80 innings of work. McCarty also gained playing experience in the renowned Valley Baseball League with the Front Royal Cardinals.
McCarty has gained valuable coaching experience in collegiate summer leagues. In 2010 McCarty made his first appearance on the coaching scene with the Winchester Royals of the Valley Baseball League, he helped guide the North Adams Steeplecats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League in 2011, and in 2012 he assisted with the Front Royal Cardinals of the Valley Baseball League.
McCarty earned his bachelor’s degree in fitness and exercise science with a minor in athletic coaching from Shepherd in 2010.
Entering his second season as the pitching coach for Shepherd University, Paul Hvozdovic’s primary responsibilities include oversight and development of the Ram pitching staff.
In 2015, Hvozdovic’s first season on the Ram’s coaching staff, Shepherd’s pitchers boasted a Mountain East Conference (MEC) best 2.89 ERA. The Rams picked up 39 wins and 299 strikeouts, en route to their second consecutive regular season title. Sam Crater was selected as MEC Pitcher of the Year with a 1.71 ERA in his 84 innings pitched.
The Herndon, Virginia native is no stranger to the Rams program as he helped rewrite the program’s record books during his playing career (2010-14). Hvozdovic holds the Shepherd career marks for most wins (34), innings pitched (340), strikeouts (307), games started (56), and complete games (19).
In 2012, Hvozdovic set Shepherd’s single-season pitching records for games started in a season (17) and innings pitched (108.2). He helped lead the Rams to their fifth WVIAC title by closing the final three innings of the WVIAC championship game. Hvozdovic was a First Team All-WVIAC selection.
In 2014, during his senior campaign, Hvozdovic was unbeaten during the MEC’s inaugural season, leading the Rams to their first MEC regular season title. He completed his final season with an 11-1 mark, a 1.80 ERA, and was named one of eight finalists for the Brett Tomko Award as the most outstanding Division II Pitcher. Hvozdovic was selected as the MEC Pitcher of the Year and the Shepherd University Male Athlete of the Year.
Following his career at Shepherd, Hvozdovic played professionally with the River City Rascals of the Frontier League (2014) and the Sonoma Stompers of the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs (2015).