It looks like Morgan Burke's final hire will be the open baseball coach position, and Both Kendall Rogers at D1Baseball.com and GBI have named Greg Lovelady at Wright State as a leading candidate for our open spot. There is a good reason too. He is a young guy (only 37) with a championship pedigree. He won two national titles as a catcher at Miami in 1999 and 2001 and since becoming the head coach at Wright State to consecutive NCAA Tournament berths:
2014: 33-20, 25-4 Horizon League (Regular season champs)
2015: 43-16, 21-8 Horizon League (Conf. Tournament champs, 2-2 in Champaign NCAA Regional)
2016: 45-16, 23-6 Horizon League (Regular season champs, Conf. tournament champs, school record for victories, already 1 NCAA Tournament win)
Lovelady was a long-time assistant at Wright State, but in his first year they went from 9-12 to 25-4 as conference champions. His team is still alive too, thus the purpose of this post. Last season was even better, as they set a school record with 43 wins. They were the No. 3 seed in the Champaign regional and lost to Notre Dame 13-7 in the opener, but beat Ohio 8-3 and the Irish 4-0 in the loser's bracket before falling to Illinois (who was the No. 6 national seed) 8-4 in the regional final.
Wright State earned a No. 3 seed in the Louisville Regional host by the Cardinals this season and already broke the program record with 45 wins. Louisville is the No. 2 national seed and has already won two games to advance to the championship. They beat Western Michigan and Ohio State along the way. Wright State was leading Ohio State on Friday in the opening game 6-5 going into the 9th, but gave up two runs to lose 7-6.
In an elimination game yesterday Wright State beat Western Michigan 10-3 to stay alive. It was only the program's 4th NCAA Tournament victory, and three have been under Lovelady. That is also four times as many NCAA wins as Purdue has in its history.
Some of Wright State's wins this season have come at North Carolina State, Georgia, and Xavier. Last season they took a game at Miami (who made the CWS) and also beat Missouri State, who was a national seed.
Wright State gets a rematch against Ohio State after Louisville crushed the Buckeyes 15-3. The game is available on ESPN3 streaming at Noon, and a win means they get a shot at Louisville at 4pm.
Here is a video interview with Lovelady during the win over Western Michigan on Saturday.