Derek Beasley Added to WCU Baseball Coaching Staff

Cullowhee, NC – Western Carolina head baseball coach Alan Beck today announced the addition of Derek Beasley as an assistant coach on his first coaching staff. Beasley, who has spent the last three seasons as a pitching coach at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, is taking on the same role on the Catamount coaching staff.

Cullowhee marks the third collegiate coaching stop for Beasley, who was drafted into the Oakland A’s farm system as a pitcher in 2014-17 after a stellar career at USC Aiken. Previous coaching stints include two seasons at his alma mater and most recently three years at Lenoir-Rhyne.

“During this staffing process, it was important to find a pitching coach with a proven track record of developing not just individual pitchers but also pitching staff. Derek Beasley meets that need,” said Beck. “Not only was Derek a good player who progressed from college to the pro ranks, but everyone I spoke to said he’s a strong character and will fit in well in Western Carolina. Derek had a great start to his coaching career where he had a knack for doing more with less, both in recruiting and developing strong pitching rotations.

Beasley helped lead Lenoir-Rhyne to an outstanding 46-13 record in 2022, amassed eight wins against top-25 opponents and finished one win behind an NCAA Division II Super Regional appearance. The LR pitching staff led the nation with an NCAA Division II record of 647 strikeouts in a single season and ranked second nationally in strikeouts per nine innings (11.39). The roster also led the South Atlantic Conference in team ERA (3.77) — ranked 11th nationally — and recorded eight shutouts to earn fifth place in the NCAA with a WHIP of 1.31, ninth-best in the NCAA.

Under Beasley’s leadership in 2022, RHP Joshua Lanham as a sophomore set an LR school record with 11 wins on the mound and became only the second All-America selection in LR baseball history after being third-team Landed by D2CCA and National Collegiate Baseball Writers’ Association (NCBWA). Lanham was named the 2021 SAC Freshman of the Year, one of three Bears hurlers to finish in the conference top 10 in strikeouts and ERA.

While at LR, Beasley also coached Ian Foggo, who signed a professional free agent contract with the Houston Astros. He also mentored Andrew Patrick, who threw the program’s first no-hitter since the 1990s and earned National Pitcher of the Week honors while the pitching team finished first in the SAC in ERA, strikeouts per nine innings, the fewest Hits allowed, runs earned, strikeouts, and finished second in the walk. Three pitchers received All-Conference honors and one was touted All-Region. Nationally, the LR pitching staff ranked sixth in batting average against, sixth in ERA, fifth in WHIP, and third in batting percentage allowed.

Before moving to Hickory, Beasley successfully led USC Aiken’s pitching team to the top of the Peach Belt Conference. The Pacers finished second in the league in each of Beasley’s two seasons, and Christian Aragon was named the second-team all-conference pitcher and would later sign with the Los Angeles Angels.

In 2019, all three of Beasley’s weekend starters were drafted in the MLB draft—Mitch Spence in the 10th round by the New York Yankees; Zach Rafuse in the 37th round of the Oakland Athletics; and Garvin Alston Jr., a 37th-Round pick from the Chicago White Sox. Rafuse received the All-Peach Belt Conference second-team honors while Spence was the overall conference strikeout leader and an All-Conference first teamer. The Pacers led the PBC in strikeouts and strikeouts per nine innings and allowed the fewest hits and batting average against Beasley in 2019. In 2018, USC Aiken led the league in saves, runs earned, goals and batting averages.

Originally from Harlem, Georgia, Beasley is considered one of the most effective pitchers in USC Aiken baseball history. He was a two-time first-team All-Conference selection and finished his collegiate career second in program history with 29 wins over 310.1 career innings from 2011-14. Beasley recorded 292 career strikeouts over 310.1 innings for the Pacers.

As a senior in 2014, Beasley ranked third in the NCAA Division II in games started (15), and his 52 career starts is still the program record and reaped team MVP awards. He ranks eighth in Peach Belt Conference history in strikeouts and wins and fifth in career games started. In 2013, Beasley won the Mr. Pacer Award for baseball team and was an All-Region that same year.

Beasley was drafted by Oakland in the 30th round with the 912th pick in the 2014 MLB Draft. He played three seasons in professional baseball from 2014 to 2016 before beginning his coaching career. Beasley secured eight wins in 40 appearances and had a career ERA of 4.81, hitting 78 for 31 walks.

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