The Coastal Plain League has announced Jesse Lancaster of the Morehead City Marlins Jesse as the 2019 CPL Coach of the Year after guiding the Marlins to the CPL Petitt Cup Championship. This is Lancaster's second consecutive CPL Coach of the Year honor.
"It is a real honor to be selected as the 2019 CPL Coach of the Year," said Lancaster. "I am truly fortunate to hold the position of head coach for the Morehead City Marlins. This organization has been 100% supportive and invested in our vision as a team. I would like to recognize and share this recognition with our owner Buddy Bengel, scouting director Jeff Roemer, fellow coaches Fico Kondla and Dawson Moser, and most importantly the 2019 Marlins players for allowing me this honor."
In his third year as the head coach of the Marlins, Lancaster guided the team to the best overall regular season record in the CPL at 37-14 (.725) and a First and Second-Half East Division Championship. This guaranteed the Marlins home field advantage for the entirety of the Petitt Cup Playoffs, helping them defeat the Fayetteville SwampDogs in the Divisional Round before taking down the Wilson Tobs in the NorthEast Regional Championship to secure a place in championship series. Here they met up with the Macon Bacon, the SouthWest Regional Champions, in a best-of-three series. The Marlins won game one 3-0 and the Bacon evened the series with a 11-4 victory in game two before the Marlins ultimately captured back-to-back CPL Petitt Cup Championships with a 6-2 win in the deciding game three.
Lancaster was named the head coach of the East Division team for the 2019 All-Star Showdown held in Savannah, Ga., but was unable to attend due to personal reasons. However, he saw a league leading eight of his players named to the team as well: Hunter Shepherd, Jack Harris, Leo Perez, Connor Schultz, Jordan Schulefand, Dusty Baker, Cal Hehnke and Matt Bradley.
On the field Lancaster helped coach the Marlins to the number one pitching staff in the league with a 3.55 ERA, edging out the Savannah Bananas at 3.68. Even more impressive was the pitching staff's historic setting 576 strikeouts on the year, setting a new all-time CPL single season record. This is the second season in a row Lancaster's team has finished with the league's best pitching staff.
One tool Lancaster and his coaching staff implemented this season is what he and his coaches dubbed the 'Teach of the Day.' With the league's format allowing the first-half division champion to automatically clinch a bid into the playoffs, the coaches found this to be a beneficial tactic to keep the players engaged and growing each day as they eagerly awaiting the playoffs through the second-half of play.
"This year's team was an awesome group to be around," said Lancaster. "They got on board early and we had to work daily to get better. It's a full years work. The front office all the way to our coaching staff there is a lot of work that goes into building a championship, year round."
Lancaster works as an assistant coach for the University of Mount Olive and plans to return to the Marlins for the 2020 summer.
About Coastal Plain League:
The Coastal Plain League is the nation's premier summer collegiate baseball league. Heading into its 23rd season in 2019, the CPL features 16 franchises playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. To date, the CPL has had over 1,600 alumni drafted and 128 alums – including 2017 ALCS MVP, 2017 World Series champion, 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander, as well as 2017 NLCS MVP Chris Taylor – make their Major League debut. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @CPLBaseball.