NEWARK, N.Y. – Former Le Moyne College All-American and St. Louis Cardinals prospect Chris Edmondson has been named the next head coach of the Newark Pilots, announced Friday by team owner Bob Ohmann.
Edmondson, 27, was promoted from assistant coach to interim head coach on July 22 with 10 games remaining in the 2015 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) regular season. He guided the team to a 5-5 mark, narrowly missing the final playoff berth in the West Division with a 20-30 overall record.
“We were very pleased with not only the way Chris handled the head coaching duties, but also with the amount of time he spent at the ballpark working with the players on an individual basis throughout the season,” Ohmann said. “Chris also brings with him a very impressive résumé having won two professional championships in his time with the St. Louis organization. We are confident he will bring championship-caliber baseball back to Colburn Park in 2016.”
“I am very excited to be back with the Pilots,” Edmondson said. “Last year was a nice taste of what goes on in Newark – Colburn Park is an amazing ballpark and the Ohmanns treated us well – but we unfortunately missed the playoffs. The plan is to return to the winning way and put together a team that can make a postseason run next summer.”
“Coach Edmondson is one of those coaches that genuinely wants his players to succeed,” said Newark’s First-Team All-PGCBL shortstop Cody Wiktorski. “Whether it’s talking to him about the mental approach at the plate or working on mechanics hours before the ballpark even opened, he was the first to offer assistance. He is one of the biggest reasons for my success this summer in the PGCBL.”
A native of Johnson City, N.Y., Edmondson starred for then-Division I Le Moyne from 2007 to 2010. He was named an American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Third-Team All-American, the Division I Independent Player of the Year and an ABCA First-Team All-Northeast Region selection in 2008 after hitting .367 with 64 RBIs and 41 extra-base hits. The 14 home runs he hit as a sophomore are tied for the most in school history in a single season. Edmondson holds Le Moyne’s all-time records for most career home runs (44), RBIs (178) and total bases (425), and ranks among the program leaders in nearly every offensive category.
The slugging outfielder was named to the All-New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) First Team in 2008, and was crowned an NECBL All-Star in 2008 and 2009.
Edmondson was then picked in the 43rd round of the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft by St. Louis. He spent three seasons in the Cardinals’ system, batting .266 with 162 RBIs, 153 runs and 27 homers in 279 career games between rookie ball and Class A Advanced. He spent the first half of his rookie season with the Johnson City (Tenn.) Cardinals, the eventual 2010 Appalachian League champions, before being promoted to the Batavia Muckdogs. In 2011, he helped Quad Cities win the Midwest League championship alongside a flock of highly-touted prospects, including 2015 MLB All-Star pitcher Carlos Martinez. That year, he led the River Bandits with six triples while hitting a career-high 10 homers.
The Newark Pilots will return to Colburn Park in 2016 for their sixth season of play in the PGCBL, upstate New York’s premier collegiate summer league. For more information and to purchase season tickets, contact Pilots president Leslie Ohmann at 315-576-6710 or visit www.newarkpilots.com. Fans can like the Pilots on Facebook at www.facebook.com/newarkpilots, and follow them on Instagram and Twitter @NewarkPilots for the latest information.