WALLA WALLA — Pitchers will make up roughly half the roster of the Walla Walla Sweets in 2010. In order to maximize this asset, the Sweets have brought in a pitching coach who has a strong pedigree on the East Coast and has been charged with helping lead a revival of baseball at Whitman College.
Mark Michaud, the pitching coach at Whitman College, has been hired by the Walla Walla Sweets to hold the same position for their inaugural season in 2010. A Groton, Conn., native, he will join skipper J.C. Biagi in bringing summer baseball back to Walla Walla. He came to the Northwest as part of Jared Holowaty’s staff at Whitman, where in addition to his pitching coach responsibilities oversees recruiting for the Missionary baseball program.
Michaud has been coaching collegiate baseball since 1998, when he began his career at Eastern Connecticut State University. He was part of a coaching staff that won two NCAA national championships in four years. Career stops have included the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Rockford College, Siena College, the University of Maine, and a return engagement at Eastern Connecticut State University. Michaud’s staffs are characterized by pitchers who lead their leagues in team ERA, strikeouts, strikeout-to-walk ratios, and WHIP, all key elements to successful baseball clubs.
"I look forward to working with J.C. in building a championship franchise," Michaud said. "Our pitchers will be smart, aggressive and put the team in a position to win ball games."
"I am excited that Mark will be part of the coaching staff," Biagi saud. "We’ll have pitchers from programs all around the country, and we are confident in Mark’s ability to command respect, teach proper technique, compete for a championship and prepare our players to advance their baseball careers."
"Mark has a bright future in the college game," said Jeff Cirillo, a partner in the Sweets ownership group and a former Major League Baseball All-Star who participated in the interview process. "He loves working with pitchers and we are very fortunate to have him as part of our franchise."
The Sweets, an expansion franchise in the West Coast League, will open up the 2010 season by hosting defending league champion Wenatchee AppleSox at Borleske Stadium on June 8. Season tickets are now available by calling 509.522.BALL (2255) or by visiting www.wallawallasweets.com.