Jan. 2, 2013
By Stephen Trembley
By Stephen Trembley
FRESNO, Calif. --- In 2008, Ryan Overland and Erik Wetzel helped lead the Fresno State baseball team on a magical run to winning the national championship, and now both former Bulldogs are back at their alma mater in key assistant coaching positions.
"On Opening Day, we will look out and see Wet (Erik Wetzel) coaching first base and OV (Ryan Overland) coaching third base," Fresno State head baseball coach Mike Batesole said. "We are excited to have two players from our National Championship team now on staff. This is a great day for the Bulldogs."
In his fifth year as a Division I coach, Overland is the Bulldogs' newest assistant coach, who in addition to his third base coach responsibilities, will work primarily with the team's hitters, outfielders, and catchers. Overland, a catcher at Fresno State from 2005-08, played in over 180 games and won three conference championships along with the national title for the 'Dogs.
From 2009-10, Overland then served as the hitting and catching coach at South Dakota State University, where he guided the Jackrabbits to the regular season Summit League Championship in 2010 after finishing the season with a 39-21 mark. While at South Dakota State, he also received his master's degree in Health, Physical Educations and Recreation.
Under Overland, the Jackrabbits were first in the league in batting average (.350) in 2010 and set new school records in team hits, runs scored, doubles and wins. Eight all-league student-athletes were produced under him.
Overland returned to Fresno State in 2011 as the team's volunteer assistant coach and helped lead the Bulldogs to two more NCAA Tournaments and conference championships, including their seventh straight in 2012 when the 'Dogs won the tournament crown in dramatic fashion - rallying to win three elimination games before capturing the crown with a 4-3 victory over Sacramento State in 13 innings.
This fall, Overland was a full-time assistant coach at Nevada until Shaun Larkin, who had taken over for Bulldogs' assistant coach Pat Waer this past summer, decided to continue his coaching career in professional baseball, which allowed Overland to once again return to his alma mater.
Meanwhile, Wetzel played professionally in the Colorado Rockies organization from 2008-11 in 206 minor league games with a career .266 batting average, 25 doubles, 36 stolen bases and 72 RBI. Wetzel, who was drafted by the Rockies in the 13th Round of the 2008 MLB Draft following his junior season, reached AA-Tulsa in the Texas League in 2011 before returning to Fresno State in 2012 to begin completing his coursework toward his bachelor's degree.
Wetzel, a former Bulldogs' infielder played at Fresno State from 2006-08, was a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American and a three-time all-conference honoree.
Along with coaching first base, Wetzel will work with the Bulldogs' hitters and middle infielders as an undergraduate student coach while he finishes his degree.
Fresno State opens the 2013 season, which will be the Bulldogs' first in the Mountain West, on Feb. 15 at 6:35 p.m. when the 'Dogs host UC Santa Barbara at Beiden Field.
"Discover Fresno State Athletics" - The flagship radio station of Fresno State Baseball is 940 AM ESPN Radio.
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