HEAD COACH DOUG BLETCHER
Doug Bletcher is entering his thirteenth season as the head baseball coach of Lindenwood in 2020, and his 22nd season as a collegiate head coach.
Entering the 2020 season, Bletcher has amassed an overall record of 735-449-2 (.620), seven conference titles, one NCAA Division II World Series appearance, 11 NAIA postseason appearances, two conference coach of the year awards, and a regional coach of the year honor. In his final season in the NAIA, he ranked sixth among active coaches in career winning percentage.
At Lindenwood, Bletcher has gone 376-267-1 (.584) through his first 12 seasons. Since moving to the NCAA, he has led the Lions to two MIAA postseason tournaments, one MIAA tournament championship and one NCAA regional championship. He won three conference championships, and made two regional tournament appearances while the Lions were still a member of the NAIA. In 2018, Bletcher won his 700th career game as a head coach.
Two members of the Lindenwood baseball program, Matt Meier and Geoff Hartlieb, have been selected in the Major League Baseball draft, since the move to the NCAA Division II level, and two others, Connor Law and Brendan Feldmann, have signed free agent contracts with major league organizations.
Prior to the 2019 season, Tyler Cassmeyer was named NCBWA preseason all-central region pitcher. Lindenwood ended the 2019 season with a 28-25 overall record and an 18-15 mark in MIAA action. The Lions earned two wins over ranked opponents, including a 5-1 win over then-No. 1 Augustana.
Lindenwood hit .296 as a team which ranked second-best in the MIAA through 53 games played. The Lions ranked third in the conference in runs (345), triples (16), and RBI (310). Nine players earned all-MIAA honors, including DJ Miller who was named first-team all-MIAA as an outfielder. Miller ranked fifth in the MIAA with a .372 batting average and fifth in the league with 16 doubles.
Bryce Beckmann earned second-team honors after ranking 46th in NCAA Division II with 23 stolen bases. Beckmann ranked fifth in the MIAA with 16 doubles and hit .360 on the year. Kyle Hentis and Neil Fischer were named to the third-team, while five others earned honorable-mention recognition.
In 2018, Bletcher and the Lions went 26-24 on the year and a 16-20 in the MIAA. The Lions ranked fourth in the MIAA with 103 doubles and tied for third in the league with 16 triples as a team. The pitching staff ranked second in the conference with 424 strikeouts and held opponents to a .269 batting average with stood fourth-best in the MIAA.
Six Lions made the all-MIAA list including Tyler Cassmeyer who was named MIAA Freshman of the Year. Wes Degener and Drew Quinones were named to the first-team all-MIAA, Quinones also was named honorable-mention all-central region. Quinones played a strong third base for the Lions as he led the team in many categories including his .373 batting average, along with his 20 doubles and 42 RBI.
Degener hit .347 in 2018 with 52 runs scored, 12 doubles, three triples, four home runs, and 31 RBI. Degener tallied 69 hits in his final season to end his career with 305 hits, which was seven shy of the conference record for a career. Cassmeyer compiled a 7-3 record on the bump with a 3.01 ERA in 83 2/3 innings pitched. Cassmeyer struck out 79 batters this year, held opponents to a .214 batting average, and tallied one shutout in two complete games. Lindenwood placed three others on the honorable-mention list in 2018.
Lindenwood had its top baseball season in school history in 2017, which helped earn Bletcher the ABCA/Diamond Region Coach of the Year award. The Lions finished the regular season by winning 15 of 17 games against NCAA Division II teams, and they finished third in the conference regular season standings. Lindenwood then won the MIAA Tournament, and did not lose a game while winning the NCAA Division II Central Regional Championship. The Lions finished fifth at the NCAA Division II World Series. Six victories during the year came over nationally-ranked teams, including a 4-0 victory over No. 4 Delta State in the first round of the national championships.
Nine baseball players earned all-MIAA honors, including first-team accolades for Wes Degener and Connor Law. Four players were named to an all-region team. Academically, 36 players were named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll, four were MIAA Scholar-Athletes, and two were on the MIAA Academic Excellence list.
In 2016, the Lions picked up 24 victories during the season, including a 16-2 road win over the then No. 10 team in the country, Missouri Southern. Eight players earned all-MIAA honors, including first-team honors for Degener, and second-team honors for Nathan Prindle and Law. Prindle went on and was a first-team all-region and honorable mention All-American.
Academically, 30 players were named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll. Lucas Tibbs and Shawn Hagarty were also named to the MIAA Academic Excellence list, and Law was a MIAA Scholar-Athlete and a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection.
The 2015 Lions made program history when they advanced to the MIAA Tournament for the first time in program history. Lindenwood clinched a spot by taking three out of four games from MIAA power Central Missouri in the final week of the regular season. In the first round of the MIAA Tournament, the Lions won one game but fell in a best-of-three series at Emporia State.
Seven players were named all-MIAA in 2015, led by Drew Quinones who was named to the second-team and was the MIAA Freshman of the Year. Prindle and Wade Rothermich were also second-team selections, and four players earned honorable mention honors. Rothermich also earned ABCA first-team all-region honors, and Quinones was a second-team all-region selection.
In the classroom, 27 Lions earned the MIAA Academic Honor Roll award, and Mike Wilson was also named a MIAA Scholar-Athlete and Tibbs earned the MIAA Academic Excellence award. Austin Klein was named the 2014-15 Lindenwood Male Student-Athlete of the Year.
In 2014, the Lions continued to build their program at the NCAA level. Lindenwood won 19 games and had two four-game sweeps in MIAA play, including one against a nationally-ranked team. Four Lindenwood players earned all-conference honors, including second-team accolades for Mike Failoni. Marshall Vallandingham, Jerry Roam, and Ben Coudret all earned honorable mention honors. Coudret was also named the Lindenwood NCAA Men's Student-Athlete of the Year.
Off the field, Greg Rothermich earned the MIAA Academic Excellence Award, and Coudret received the MIAA Scholar-Athlete award. A total of 28 baseball players were named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll, the most among MIAA programs.
In 2013, Bletcher led Lindenwood through its first season of a full NCAA Division II and MIAA schedule. The Lions went 23-24 overall and finished 21-17 in MIAA play, good for sixth-place in the 15-team conference. Among the victories was a split against Central Missouri and a series victory versus Missouri Southern. Both of those teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Bletcher helped Failoni have one of the top hitting seasons in Lindenwood and MIAA history. The junior set a conference record by hitting .500 for the season. He also led the league in doubles and on-base percentage, and was second in hits, total bases, and slugging percentage. Failoni was a unanimous first-team all-MIAA selection, as well as an All-American and All-Region selection. Three other Lions also earned all-conference honorable mention honors in Mike Wilson, Nathan Prindle, and Wade Rothermich.
Lindenwood also excelled off the field in 2013. Twenty-eight of the 36 players on the roster were named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll, the most of any team in the conference, and Mike Wilson was named a MIAA Scholar-Athlete. Colton Moore was named a second-team Capital One Academic All-American and he was received the MIAA Academic Excellence award.
In 2012, Bletcher led the Lions to a 30-19 record while playing mostly a NCAA Division II schedule. The 30 wins was the fifth straight season his team has won at least 30 games. The highlight of the season was a split against a national power Central Missouri. After the season, five Lions were named to the all-ICAA team and Rothermich was named Freshman of the Year from that organization. Pitcher Ryan Griffin was also named to the first-team Capital One Academic All-American team.
In 2011, the Lions went 33-23 overall and amassed a conference mark of 20-8. The team also compiled a home record of 16-8. The highlight of the season came when the Lions beat then No. 1 Oklahoma City two out of three games. After the season, five Lions were named to all-conference team. Shelby Anderson was also named to the NAIA All-American team and the HAAC Player of the Year.
In 2010, Bletcher’s team was once again the regular season HAAC Champions after compiling a record of 20-8 in conference play and an overall record of 41-16. Bletcher won his 100th game as the head coach of the Lions earlier in the season. To go along with the conference championship, the Lions also had two players named to the first-team all-conference, four to the second-team and four honorable mentions. For the second consecutive year, Bletcher’s team had the HAAC Pitcher of the Year in Evan Vinyard and the team was also awarded two gold gloves.
In 2009, the Lions won their second consecutive HAAC title and set a school record for victories. The Lions finished 45-12 overall and were 32-8 in conference play. In addition to the HAAC regular season title, the Lions won the HAAC Tournament and hosted the NAIA Opening Round Tournament. To go along with the team accomplishments, four players were named to the first-team all-conference, two to the second-team and one player received a gold glove from the HAAC.
In 2008, Bletcher led the Lions to a HAAC conference title in his first year at the helm of the Lindenwood baseball program. The Lions compiled an overall record of 40-22-1 and a conference mark of 23-5. The Lions advanced to the NAIA regional tournament where they came up short of advancing to the NAIA Super Regionals when the weather caused the event to be canceled with the Lions in the championship game. In 2008, three of Bletcher’s players were named to the all-region team and one was awarded the gold glove at the national level.
Bletcher was the head coach at Culver-Stockton from 1999 to 2006. There, he had a record of 359-182-1 as the head coach for the Wildcats, and he averaged nearly 40 wins a season. Bletcher led Culver-Stockton to four HAAC titles and nine NAIA regional tournaments. The Wildcats won the 1999, 2002, and 2006 regional championships, and in 1999, finished third in the NAIA World Series. He was named the HAAC coach of the year in 2000 and 2005, and has been named the regional coach of the year in 2000, 2002, and 2006.
Before becoming a head coach, Bletcher was an associate coach at Culver-Stockton, the program went 66-40, won two conference titles, and advanced to the NAIA World Series in 1998 for the first time in school history. From 1990-1996, Bletcher was the associate head baseball coach at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif. In his final three seasons at Pomona, the program had its best three records in school history up to that point. Bletcher was also an assistant coach from 1988-1989 at Citrus Junior College in Glendora, Calif.