CORVALLIS, Ore. – Nate Yeskie, who has served as a volunteer assistant coach with the Oregon State baseball team the past four seasons, has been promoted to a full-time role, head coach Pat Casey announced on Thursday.
Yeskie serves as the team’s pitching coach and moves into a full-time role to replace departed assistant Marty Lees.
“It’s very humbling to be on a staff at a place like Oregon State,” Yeskie said. “I’ve been fortunate to work here for the past four seasons and it’s been a great opportunity and continues to be. We’ve done a lot of great things these four seasons and I really look forward to building on that.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to get out there and recruit and help keep this program as one of the best in the Pac-12 Conference and in the nation. I’m very appreciative of the support here and the opportunity Coach Casey is giving me.”
“I believe in loyalty and I think Nate has been loyal to our program,” Casey said. “He’s been in a position where he’s called a volunteer coach but it’s a full-time job. He’s had opportunities to look at other things and didn’t do it. But that’s only part of it. Had he done those things but not helped us do things to maintain this program as one of the best in the nation, we wouldn’t hire him.
“He’s a guy that has those qualities. He’s going to be a great recruiter. It’s going to be a tremendous addition to our staff. Like I said, he’s been very loyal to the Oregon State baseball program and it’s with a lot of pleasure that I get to see him be rewarded for that.”
Yeskie has overseen one of the best four-year pitching periods in Oregon State baseball history. The Beavers sported a 3.14 earned run average in 2011, their second-best mark since 1979, and in 2012, had a 3.48 ERA, which ranks in the top five. Oregon State has advanced to the postseason in each of the four years, the best NCAA Tournament stretch in OSU’s postseason history.
Eleven different pitchers have been selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft during Yeskie’s tenure, with eight drawing at least one selection in the first 10 rounds. Nine of the 11 signed professional contracts and all are still playing with their original organizations.
Yeskie has mentored, among others, Sam Gaviglio, who was a 2011 All-American, and Jace Fry, who picked up Freshman All-America honors this past season. Both Gaviglio and Matt Boyd were named Freshman All-Americans in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
Additionally, 11 OSU pitchers have been tabbed as an all-league first team or honorable mention selection since 2009.
“It’s great because he contributes so much to the program,” Boyd said. “He’s been the anchor of the pitching staff since he came to OSU in 2009. He’s a big part of why the club has advanced to the postseason the last four years. Oregon State consistently runs out one of the best pitching staffs in the nation. Coach Casey always says that championships are built on pitching and defense. To have a pitching coach like that, with his background and knowledge, it’s incredible to have him at Oregon State and I’m very happy for him.”
“He’s one of the hardest working coaches I have ever been around,” said rising junior Ben Wetzler. “He means a lot to the pitching staff at Oregon State and has been a great mentor. For him to get this opportunity is fantastic. He has certainly put the work in to be successful and I know I’m excited for him.”
Yeskie came to Oregon State after three years at his alma mater, UNLV, from 2005-07. He was a ninth-round selection in the 1996 MLB Draft by Minnesota, and reached as high as Double-A New Britain during a five-year career. Prior to his pro career, he was invited to five USA Baseball Olympic Team Trials from 1994-96.
He still stands as UNLV’s single-season strikeout leader with 147 in 1995.