JONESBORO, AR (astateredwolves.com) – Arkansas State head baseball coach Tommy Raffo announced Wednesday the hiring of Caleb Longshore as an assistant coach for the Red Wolves program to round out his coaching staff for the upcoming season.
Longshore will serve as the team's pitching coach and brings five years of coaching experience with him to A-State program. Most recently, he spent the 2015 season at California Baptist University in Riverside, Calif., as the team's pitching coach. The Lancers went 31-22 and finished second in the Pacific West Conference with a 22-10 mark. The team also qualified for the NCAA Division II tournament as the No. 3 seed in the West Region and went 1-2 in regional play.
"I am excited that Coach Longshore is joining the A-State program," Raffo said. "He has done a phenomenal job at every college he has coached. The players, parents, staff and Arkansas State community are going to appreciate his engaging personality. He's a good person who invests himself personally in knowing his pitchers. He's young, energetic and ready to prove himself to A-State. His pitching style is a good mix of my two previous pitching coaches and I feel he is the right fit for our program."
The Lancers' pitching staff posted the second-best ERA in the PacWest with a 3.51 mark under Longshore's leadership and also tossed eight complete games throughout the season. CBU as a staff accumulated 449 strikeouts to only 144 walks during the season and held opposing hitters to a .254 batting average. Additionally, the pitchers at California Baptist posted a PacWest-best 3.12 ERA in conference games.
CBU's Adam Hofacket enjoyed a breakout season under Longshore's tutelage by registering a team-best 2.26 ERA with a 7-5 record in 2015. Hofacket was even sharper in PacWest games as he led the entire conference with a 1.77 ERA in eight starts against conference foes. Hofacket struck out 98 batters in the season against only 20 walks and held hitters to a .225 batting average. For his efforts, Hofocket was picked in the 10th round of the 2015 Major League Baseball draft.
"It is an honor to join the Arkansas State family," Longshore said. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for Coach Raffo, and I am grateful for the opportunity to join his staff. A-State is a great place for young men to come and develop as students, athletes, and individuals. I am excited about the direction of the program, and I look forward to investing in the development of current and future Red Wolves!"
Prior to joining CBU's staff, Longshore spent the 2013-14 seasons at NAIA power Oklahoma Wesleyan as the team's associate head coach, where he was responsible for the pitching staff and recruiting. The Eagles went 31-23 in 2013, but broke out in 2014 with a 58-8 record with the 58 wins setting a new school record. Oklahoma Wesleyan reached the NAIA World Series for the first time and finished in third place, along with being ranked third in the final polls.
Oklahoma Wesleyan's pitching staff in 2014 was instrumental in the team's run to the NAIA World Series as Longshore's pitchers registered a 2.91 ERA that ranked 12th in all of NAIA. The pitching staff also finished top-five in the NAIA in opponent batting average (.219) and walks per game (2.14). Four of the Eagles' pitchers earned All-Midlands Collegiate Athletics Conference recognition with two players on the first team and two on the second team.
"Caleb's passion for recruiting to our needs, committing student-athletes and developing their individual talent once they are on campus will continue to enhance our program," Raffo added. "We've had a track record of outstanding pitching coaches, and Caleb definitely meets our motto of 'Always Rising'. I know the Red Wolves family will help me in offering a huge 'Wolves Up' in welcoming our new pitching coach Caleb Longshore."
Before Longshore's stint at Oklahoma Wesleyan, he was the head coach at Susan Moore High School in Blountsville, Ala., for one year. He also coached the Middle Tennessee Outlaws prep travel team with two players picked off of the team in the 2014 MLB draft.