Less than a week after losing head coach Jay Johnson to LSU, Arizona baseball has lost its pitching coach to another SEC power.
Texas A&M announced the addition of Nate Yeskie to its coaching staff Tuesday, ending speculation as to whether Yeskie would accept the Aggies’ offer or remain in contention for Arizona’s head coach vacancy.
Yeskie spent two years as Arizona’s associate head coach, where he was responsible for greatly improving the team’s pitching. In Yeskie’s first year, the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, the pitching staff posted a 3.87 ERA, compared to 6.21 in 2019.
Arizona’s team ERA rose to 4.60 in 2021, well below elite pitching staffs but superior to what Yeskie inherited.
The Wildcats’ top three relievers, Gil Luna, Vince Vannelle, and Randy Abshier, all posted sub-3.00 ERAs this season. Luna and Abshier, however, were unavailable for Super Regionals and the College World Series after being suspended for an off-campus incident.
Yeskie joined Arizona’s staff after 11 seasons at Oregon State. He coached the Beavers pitching staff to 15 All-American accolades.
“Simply stated, Nate Yeskie is widely known as one of the premier pitching coaches in the country at any level, both in professional and amateur baseball,” Texas A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle said in a statement. “His track record speaks for itself and I have no doubt that he will not only attract outstanding pitchers who want to reach their full potential to Texas A&M, but also develop the guys currently within our program.”
The loss of Yeskie could lead to more Arizona players, specifically pitchers, transferring. On Tuesday the Wildcats lost two of their best position players, Branden Boissiere and Jacob Berry, to the transfer portal.
College baseball players have until July 1 to enter the portal, so more movement is expected in the coming days.