Mark Crocco enters his third season at Erskine College. In 2019 the Fleet continued with even more improvements on the field with yet another season with an increase in win percentage. The team also saw post season action in the Conference Carolinas conference tournament and qualified as the #1 seed in the toughest regional in the country (South Regional) for NCCAA play. The Fleet continued in their dominance of post season accolades with 6 All-Conference players, including 4 1st team and yet another All-Region selection in Drew Yniesta. Building upon the previous year Erskine topped the entire country with Perfect Game’s #1 recruiting class in NCAA Division ll Baseball.
In Crocco’s first season at the helm of the Fleet he led the team to a winning season including beating the #1 team in the country North Greenville. The team also saw great strides at the plate and improved in every offensive category while dominating at home bosting a 22-8 home record. Post season accolades were abundant in just the first year with multiple All-Conference selections and an All-Region selection in Austin Mapes. Known as one of the top recruiters in the country he was able to have the Fleet nationally recognized through Perfect Game with the #10 recruiting class in the country in his first season.
Crocco comes to Erskine from Presbyterian College, where he served as Assistant Head Coach and Recruiting Coordinator.
Prior to the 2017 season Crocco was named the top recruiter in the Big South Conference by D1Baseball.com. During that season, the Blue Hose broke their record for wins again with 32 and made it to the championship game of the Big South Championship. PC also saw big time wins against SEC powerhouses Alabama and Auburn University. The 2017 team also broke their record from the previous season with 323 runs scored. After the 2017 season Crocco’s first Blue Hose commit, Hayden Deal was drafted by the Atlanta Braves and since has won pitcher of the year in the organization twice. (2018 & 2019).
During the 2016 season, Crocco helped PC to its second straight 27-win season, tying the school's Division I era record for victories. In addition, PC also established a school record with 12 Big South victories, a six-game improvement from 2015, and made its first appearance in the Big South Championship. The Blue Hose set a Division I era school record with 321 runs scored and 114 doubles with Crocco's aid. The team also fielded .970 on the year, second-best in the program's Division I era.
In 2015, Crocco helped the program to a PC Division I-record 27 wins that included victories over South Carolina, Clemson, UCF (No. 7 at the time) and Indiana (No. 22 at the time). PC ended the season by winning its final seven midweek games and won 21 non-conference games, another program Division I record. Crocco's guidance helped PC earn a First Team All-Big South honoree and an Honorable Mention selection while setting new Division I records in runs scored, strikeouts and strikeouts per game. The Blue Hose also posted winning records at the PC Baseball Complex and against other South Carolina programs.
His supervision of the team's fielding helped PC tie a program record in assists, previously set in Crocco's first season.
In Crocco’s first year at PC he was charged with the responsibility of running the Blue Hose infield. PC set a Presbyterian Big South and Division I record for fielding percentage, fielding at a .972 clip in the 2013 campaign to rank second in the conference and the highest in PC history. PC also tied the Division I school record for wins in Crocco’s first year on staff.
Crocco arrived at PC after two seasons as an assistant coach at The United States Air Force Academy. With the Falcons, Crocco worked with the Falcons hitters infielders and helped the Falcons to their most wins since 2002 in his first year. He also guided the squad to four All-Mountain West Conference selections and a school record for fielding percentage in 2011.
In the summers of 2011 and 2012 Crocco's duties also included running camps at The Air Force Academy. Crocco also worked numerous camps all over the country for organizations such as Top 96 Baseball, Head First Honor Roll Camps, Numerous Baseball Academy's and ACC/SEC programs.
Crocco played second base for the Wingate Bulldogs (2005-2009) and spent two years prior to Air Force work at his alma mater as an assistant coach, helping the Bulldogs to a 2010 South Atlantic Conference Championship.
Before his coaching position at Wingate, Crocco served as the head coach of the Charlotte Area Anglers Showcase Baseball Team in 2010 and took the team to a league championship in his first year at the helm. In the summer of 2009, Crocco helped the Nampa Wolfpack of the Boise (Idaho) Collegiate Summer League to a 21-12 record and numerous offensive conference highs as an assistant coach.
Crocco earned a bachelor's degree in Physical Education, with a minor in sport management, from Wingate University in 2010. He currently resides in Fountain Inn, SC with his wife Whitney Crocco.
Caulin Cragle enters his second year with the Flying Fleet after a successful first year with the program.
The Fleet finished the year at 29-25, an improvement from the 2018 season, 26-25. The Flying Fleet ranked in the All-Conference awards with four First Team All-Conference players and two Second Team All-Conference players. Finishing 3rd in the conference in pitching, the pitching staff lowered the Conference ERA nearly half a point from 5.63 (2018) to a 5.20 (2019). The pitching staff was led by two First Team All-Conference pitchers, Alex Calvert (3.48 ERA), Zach Bowers (2.77 ERA) and NCCAA reliever of the year Zach Farmer (2.41 ERA). The Fleet were incredibly healthy on the mound in the 2019 season with zero season ending injuries. Cragle assisted with bringing in the #1 recruiting class in the country in Division II baseball (Perfect Game), signing players from SC, NC, GA, FL, TN, VA, KY, TX, MD & CA.
The 2017-2018 Royals achieved a program best 33-16 regular season record, with two NCCAA All-American, five NCCAA All-Central Region, six All-Arkansas, and twelve All-Conference players, including Conference Pitcher of the Year and Player of the Year honors. The Ecclesia pitching staff boasted a regular season 4.04 ERA (improving nearly half a point from the 2017 season), resulting in NCCAA top 5 national rankings in ERA, doubles allowed, triples allowed, stolen bases allowed, and shutouts, with a .262BAA, 3.2BB/9, 7.5K/9. Mason Alexander, the No. #1 pitcher, ERA decreased from 2.89 (2017) to 2.08 (2018), earning him National NCCAA All-American, NCCAA All-Central Region, All-Arkansas and 1st Team All-Conference honors. Madison Bates, the No. #2 pitcher, ERA decreased from 3.47 (2017) to 2.31 (2018), earning him All-Arkansas and All-Conference honors.
In 2017, Coach Cragle served as the pitching coach of the Windy Hill Whales of the Beach Collegiate Baseball League (BCBL) in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The pitching staff earned a 2017 Division Championship and finished League Runner-Up. The League Cy Young winner was selected from his pitching staff.
As a collegian, Cragle completed two seasons as an NCAA Division 1 pitcher in the highly-rated program at Dallas Baptist University, under renowned head coach Dan Heefner and pitching coach Wes Johnson (DBU, MSU, Arkansas, Minnesota Twins). After his sophomore year at Dallas Baptist University, Cragle transferred to NAIA Central Baptist College, where he was a frontline starting pitcher and lead his team to an NAIA regional and two NCCAA World Series Appearances.
Coach Cragle comes to Erskine with significant professional training, mentored by and worked with renowned pitching guru Ron Wolfworth, who he earlier trained with as a player, at The Baseball Ranch in Montgomery, Texas.
Coach Cragle holds a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology – Exercise Science from Central Baptist College, is TPI Level I certified by Titleist Performance Institute, and a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
Kaufman comes to Due West, SC after serving the last two seasons as the Assistant Coach for the University of Pennsylvania.
Under Kaufman’s guidance, the Quakers emerged as one of the nation’s top offensive powerhouses in 2019. Penn finished the season ranked within the top five of all Division I programs in many offensive categories including the nation’s second-best batting average (.334), ranked second in doubles per game (2.66), and third in triples per game (.54). Penn also ranked third in on-base percentage (.422) and scoring (8.6 runs per game). The Quaker’s offense was led by senior Matt O’Neill who after the season was selected in the MLB draft with the 598th overall pick by the New York Mets.
Along with his work with the Quakers’ offense, Kaufman solidified Penn’s outfield as one of the most secure in the Ivy League. Starting right fielder Peter Matt was a first-team All-Ivy selection in 2019 after posting a perfect fielding percentage and providing seven assists. Starting center fielder Tommy Courtney also posted a perfect fielding percentage and frequently flashed leather in his 140 putouts.
Following his first season with Penn, Kaufman's efforts working with the outfielders and the batting order have already began to show dividends, as two of the Quakers' All-Ivy selections hailed from his position group -- Eduardo Malinowski and Peter Matt. The freshman from Spring, Texas, paced the entire conference in both batting average (.347) and total hits (59), earning Ivy League Rookie of the Year and first-team All-Ivy honors for his efforts. Meanwhile, Matt stepped into a starting role in the outfield midway through the season and proceeded to dominate during Ivy play, securing a place on the All-Ivy second-team.
Kaufman joined the Penn baseball program after serving as the hitting and catching coach for the last two seasons at NCAA Division III Arcadia University, during which the Knights compiled a 55-27-1 overall record. He also took over as the recruiting coordinator during his time in Glenside, which included all off-campus recruiting and evaluation of prospective student-athletes.
Arcadia put together arguably its best season in program history in 2017, as the Knights captured their first-ever MAC Commonwealth title with a school-record 33 wins. In addition to setting program records in six offensive categories - including runs per game, hits, batting average and doubles - Arcadia's catching corps also saw a 12% rise in catcher throw-out percentage under Kaufman.
Prior to his time with Arcadia, Kaufman spent the 2015 fall as an assistant coach with Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Ala. Kaufman worked with the Panther hitters and catchers, while also assisting with all aspects of recruiting.
Kaufman began his coaching career in 2015 following a four-year playing career at NCAA Division II California University of Pennsylvania. In addition to serving as team captain for the Vulcans, Kaufman was also a three-time Pennsylvania State Athletics Conference All-Academic selection and holds the school record for career throw-out percentage and caught stealing.
Kaufman earned his bachelor's degree in sport management in 2013 before completing his Master's of Science in sport management from California in 2015.
Coach Johnny Mothershead comes to Erskine College as a Volunteer Assistant Baseball Coach after twelve years at the high school level. Prior to moving to South Carolina in 2018, Mothershead served as the Varsity Baseball Head Coach for Northumberland High School in Heathsville, VA for ten of those twelve years. Leading up to his first season at Erskine, Coach Mothershead served as a Volunteer Assistant Coach at Hillcrest High School in Simpsonville, SC for the 2018-2019 season.
During Mothersheads ten seasons at the helm of the Northumberland Indians Baseball program the team captured 137 wins, 2 district championships (2014 & 2018), 2 regional championships (2014 & 2018), four state playoff appearances (2009, 2010, 2014 and 2018) and one state championship (2014). He was also named district coach of the year (2009, 2014 & 2018), regional coach of the year (2009, 2014 & 2018) and state coach of the year (2014). Coach Mothershead has also had the privilege to play a role in the growth & development of eleven players that went on to play at the collegiate level. In his last year serving as Head Coach at Northumberland High School, Mothershead also served as the schools Athletic Director where his duties included scheduling, field maintenance, transportation, fundraising approval and budgeting.
Mothershead played second base and shortstop at Averett University (2004-2006) under Head Coach Ed Fulton, where he also earned a bachelor's degree in Physical Education. Prior to transferring to Averett, Mothershead played at Rappahannock Community College (2002-2003) under Head Coach Wade Johnson.
Coach Mothershead currently resides with his wife Kristen and his two children, Colten and Aubrey, in Fountain Inn, SC.