Press Release: Longview-Kelso, Washington
Wednesday, February 18, 2014
The Cowlitz Black Bears announced the addition of assistant coaches Jason Mackey and Rip Ramsey to Head Coach Grady Tweit's inaugural staff, and the signings of returning players Austin Baker (Jr, Arkansas State) and Colton Krueger (So, Clark College).
Mackey spent six years as a pitcher in the Cleveland Indians' organization following standout years at Lower Columbia College, where he was First Team All-NWAACC, and Kelso High School. He was Head Baseball Coach for Castle Rock High School from 2006 - 2010, leading the Rockets to four consecutive regional championship game appearances. Well known for his work with pitchers, Mackey has served as pitching coach for Kelso High School (2011 - 2013) and Kalama High School (2014), and most recently for the Pacific Tech Construction American Legion American squad.
Ramsey currently is a scout with the Seattle Mariners, and has been affiliated with the Mariners in various instructional and coaching capacities since 2006. The veteran coach most recently served as Head Assistant Coach for Clark College from 2011 - 2014. As a player, Ramsey was NWAACC Player of the Year for Yakima Valley College, and captained the 1991 Washington State team under legendary coach Bobo Brayton.
"Jason and Rip both are known as outstanding teachers of the game," said Tweit. "They prepare players physically and mentally, they teach winning baseball, and they know from experience what it takes to get to the next level."
In Baker and Krueger, the Black Bears return two productive players from the 2014 team. Baker, a native of Montesano, WA, was among the Black Bear leaders in hits, runs, RBI and doubles. Among his highlights, his three-run blast keyed a 4-3 win over Victoria on July 24. The junior outfielder was one of only two Arkansas State players to start every game for the Red Wolves in 2014. On the season, Baker led Arkansas State in home runs and finished second in runs scored. He began the 2015 campaign as the team's every-day leadoff hitter, hitting his first home run of the young season in a 13-4 win over Illinois State on Saturday.
Krueger was a staple in the starting rotation last season for the Black Bears, finishing third on the team in innings pitched. The right hander went six or more innings in five of his six starts, never giving up more than three earned runs in a game, and sporting a 2.65 ERA for the season. The Clark College sophomore figures to be one of the leading pitchers in the NWAC in 2015. As a freshman for Clark in 2014, the Vancouver Union High School product posted a 7-2 record and a 2.08 ERA in ten starts.