Cobleskill, N.Y.: The SUNY Cobleskill Department of Sport & Exercise announced today that Marist College Assistant Baseball Coach Lance Ratchford has been named as the Fighting Tigers new Head Baseball Coach. Ratchford comes to Cobleskill from Marist College where he had been serving as the program's assistant coach since 2016 responsible for assisting with: recruiting, offensive coaching, outfielders and first base coaching while coordinating the program's camps and clinics. He had previously served an assistant coach at the State University of New York at Oneonta for five years during which: time seven Red Dragon players were named All-SUNYAC, 23 players were named to the SUNYAC All-Academic Team with six being named to the SUNYAC Commissioners List.
According to Fighting Tiger Athletic Director Marie Curran-Headley, "We were impressed by Lance's great breath of experience. His coaching in the SUNYAC, being a part or a NCAA Division I Championship Tournament qualifying program at Marist and his success coaching in the Cape Cod League spoke volumes to us. We were also impressed by the fact that as a player at the Division III level he led Keystone College to a third place finish at the NCAA National Championship Tournament as a shortstop giving him a unique perspective on what it takes as an athlete to become a high level performer."
A native of Oneonta, N.Y., Ratchford graduated from Oneonta High School posting a stellar prep career. In baseball during his time playing for the Yellow Jackets and coach Joe Hughes: he was a Second Team All-New York State High School Athletic Association (NYSHSAA) Class B selection while earning First Team All-Southern Tier Athletic Conference (STAC) honors and First Time All-Daily Star Team honors during his career.
On the basketball court he was a member of head coach Jerry Mackey's 2007 Section NYSHSAA Section IV Class B championship team.
The new Fighting Tiger Head Coach was both excited and grateful for the opportunity to take over the baseball program.
"When I learned that SUNY Cobleskill had restarted baseball and the job was available I thought that it was a very attractive opportunity for me. I am personally excited to be back in the upstate area having grown-up in Oneonta and am grateful to the selection committee and Athletic Director Marie Curran-Headley for this opportunity," said Ratchford.
Ratchford played collegiately at both NCAA Division II Mansfield University in Mansfield, Pa. and Division III Keystone College in LaPlume, Pa. from which he earned his Bachelors of Science Degree in Sport & Recreation Management.
While at Mansfield, he lettered three years while being a part of two teams that appeared in its conference tournament with the team qualifying for the 2010 NCAA Division II Championship Tournament.
During his senior season at Keystone College he helped lead the Giants to their third straight Colonial State Athletic Conference championship and the 2011 NCAA Division III World Series by winning the New York Regional Tournament with him earning Regional All-Tournament Team honors. For the campaign he batted .339 in 42 games for the Giants with 37 hits, 20 scored runs and runs batted in with a slugging percentage of .412 and an on-base percentage of .368.
In addition to his collegiate coaching experience, Ratchford has served as assistant coach for the Brewster Whitecaps of the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL). In his first season, the Whitecaps led the league in hitting and he coached both the league's MVP and the Major League Baseball Top Prospect Award Winner. He also coached the 2015 Perfect Game Summer Baseball National Player of the Year along with the CCBL Reliever of the Year. The Whitecaps finished with the league's second best record and earned the No. 2 seed in the CCBL playoffs.
He also spent three summers (2012-14) as an assistant coach with the Oneonta Outlaws of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL). In 2012, he was selected to coach in the Perfect Game Collegiate League All-Star game in Amsterdam, N.Y. In 2013, the Outlaws won the New York Collegiate Baseball League Championship. In 2014, the Outlaws won the Divisional championship while finishing as the NYCBL runner-ups.
As Cobleskill heads into the 2018-19 academic year Coach Ratchford sees a bright future ahead for the program.
"Cobleskill is a unique place that is attractive to potential student-athletes with a proven track record of producing successful alumni," he said. "It is going to take time but we are eventually going to play an exciting brand of baseball that should attract people to this beautiful ballpark."
The Fighting Tigers returned to intercollegiate baseball play 2018 season as a member of the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) after dropping the program in 2011, due to financial reasons, posting a 3-28 overall record including a 2-14 conference mark.