First-year Ball State baseball head coach Alex Marconi announced the hiring of Jeremy Plexico as assistant coach/pitching coach for the Cardinals Tuesday afternoon. Plexico joins assistant coach Pete Milas and volunteer assistant coach Eric Van Matre on the staff for the 2011 season.
“I am very excited to have Jeremy join our coaching staff,” Marconi said. “With his playing background both in college and professionally, he has acquired the skill set to be instrumental in our pitchers’ development. He comes highly recommended from many well respected coaches in college baseball, both as a coach and as a person. I am excited to see the development of our pitching staff under his guidance.”
Plexico, a native of Chapin, S.C, was a standout at Winthrop University and spent five years in the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals organization. He spent the past season as the pitching coach at Young Harris College (Ga.) where he helped the Mountain Lions to a 39-17 overall record. Under his tutelage, freshman left-hander Mitchell Knox earned All-Conference honors while posting an 8-3 record with 48 strikeouts compared to just 20 walks.
“I am excited about the opportunity Coach Marconi has given me to join the Ball State baseball family,” Plexico said. “I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for Ball State Baseball and I am happy to be on board as a Cardinal. I look forward to learning a lot, and working hard to help our players and program continue to develop.”
Plexico was a left-handed standout at Winthrop where he earned Third Team All-America honors as a senior after leading the Big South Conference with an 11-3 record. He appeared in 17 games and posted a league-high five complete games while logging a 2.90 ERA in 108.2 innings pitched. As a junior, he had a 9-5 record with a 4.38 ERA in 109 innings of work. He transferred to Winthrop from the University of South Carolina.
Plexico excelled not only on the playing field at Winthrop but in the classroom as well. As a senior, he was voted by the Big South Conference’s sports information directors as the league’s Male Scholar Athlete of the Year. Also, he earned the Winthrop Senior Academic Award for the highest GPA for a senior male and Big South Presidential Scholar accolades.
Plexico was drafted out of Winthrop in the 19th round of the 2003 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Montreal Expos. In his first professional stop, he tied for the Vermont Expos’ team-lead in victories in the short-season New York-Penn League in 2003. In 2004, he had one of his best years posting an 8-5 record with six saves and a 2.63 ERA. He also struck out 102 batters in 82 innings of work while holding opponents to a .195 batting average.
After having shoulder surgery in December of 2004, Plexico started an impressive 2006 season with Potomac of the Carolina League posting a 3-0 record and a 1.93 ERA out of the bullpen before being promoted to Double-A Harrisburg. He made 34 appearances for Harrisburg and posted a 4-3 record with a 4.00 ERA. He also made 43 appearances, including 40 out of the bullpen, in 2007 for the Senators.
Plexico returned to his role as a starter in 2008 when he joined the Gary Southshore Railcats of the Northern League. He posted a 10-3 record with a 2.79 ERA while being named the Northern League Pitcher of the Year. He held opponents to a .250 batting average while striking out 68 batters and walking just 32. His 135.1 innings pitched led the league, while his 2.79 ERA was third. He was also the winning pitcher for the Northern League All-Star Game and was named to Baseball America’s All-Independent League Second Team.
Plexico received his bachelor’s degree in history in 2002 and his master’s degree in teaching (social studies) in 2008 from Winthrop.