JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman baseball coach Tom Griffin announced the hiring of five new coaches to his staff for the upcoming season Thursday featuring pitching coach Travis Tingle and assistant Joe Selitto. In addition, Kevin Ketvirtis, Brendan Krob and James Sofield fill out the bench for the Eagles.
Tingle brings a wealth of experience to Mossy Creek after playing at Louisville and professionally while making coaching stops at his alma mater, Harris-Stowe State and most recently at Toledo.
“First and foremost it has to be the opportunity to work with a legend in coach Griff and the storied history of the program,” Tingle said. “You can’t enough great things about him and the program. Being able to work with him was probably the No. 1 deciding factor.
“We want to compete and come after everybody with what we have. Coaching at every level at NAIA before I was at Toledo which is a Division I and playing in the junior college ranks really experienced every thing about the college level. I think bringing a mindset and competitive level to win at all costs.”
The right-handed pitcher started his collegiate career at Cleveland State Community College where he earned Second Team All-Conference honors as a sophomore with a 7-4 record, a 4.07 ERA and 73 strikeouts. He was Third Team All-Conference as a freshman with a 5-2 mark with a 3.60 ERA and 63 strikeouts.
After transferring to Louisville, the Louisville, Ky. native was 5-3 with one save and a 4.15 ERA while pitching 65 innings and making 23 appearances on the mound as a senior, including nine starts. The Butler High School product also served as one of the Cardinals’ team captains in 2012 as Louisville won its third BIG EAST title in four years and advanced to an NCAA Regional for the fifth time in six seasons. In his first season as a Cardinal in 2011, Tingle was 3-1 with a 2.60 ERA in 19 appearances and five starts.
For three seasons, Tingle pitched in the Frontier League for Windy City making 61 appearances racking up 20 wins tallying a 3.94 ERA fanning 251 batters over 322 innings on the mound. He closed out his playing days with the best season of his pro tenure in 2015 firing a career-high 121 1/3 innings holding a 3.12 ERA with 94 punch outs for the ThunderBolts making the All-Star team.
He started his coaching career as a student assistant for his alma matter during the 2013 season for a club that won the Big East regular-season title and advanced to the College World Series. The team’s pitching staff led the country by striking out 9.6 batters per nine innings ranking fifth nationally with a 2.52 ERA. Seven players were drafted into Major League Baseball off of that roster including four pitchers highlighted by current New York Yankee Chad Green who has a career 3.18 ERA in six seasons as of 2021.
From 2016 to 2020, Tingle served as the pitching coach for Harris-Stowe State in St. Louis helping guide the team to back-to-back 30-win campaigns for the first time in program history setting school records for strikeouts in a season with 407 and team ERA with a 3.60 margin, tops in the American Midwest Conference.
His last stop before arriving at Carson-Newman was at Toledo watching the team finish 21-19 in the Mid-American Conference. As a pitching staff, the Rockets piled up 403 strikeouts led by 86 over 70 1/3 innings from Layne Schnitz-Paxton. Kyle Jones hurled six complete games.
Selitto returns to the bench for the Eagles after a stint in Jefferson City coaching the club in 2019 for a club that won 31 games and finished fifth in the South Atlantic Conference. The Eagles opened the year 14-3 and were in the top 25 nationally. Catcher Ethan Goforth was drafted in the 25th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates as one of the two all-region selections for the program that season. In his return to Mossy Creek, he will be the infield coach and recruiting coordinator.
Selitto spent two years at Milligan working under former C-N assistant Skylar Barnett working with the team’s infield, base running, hitting and coaching first base. The Buffaloes won 41 games in the year-plus that he worked for Milligan. Brandon Marello and Anthony Guzman each earned all-conference honors combining for 10 homers and 57 RBIs in 2021.
Overall in his playing career for the Eagles, the infielder played in 73 games with 31 starts posting a .286 batting average and an on-base percentage of nearly .400. Defensively, he made a total of six errors over four seasons. In 2017, he hit .278 with nine RBIs and 10 runs scored while stealing a pair of bases. He posted a career-high six-game hitting streak from Feb. 19 to March 5, 2017 going 9-for-18 with six RBIs and notched his first multi-hit day of 2017 going 2-for-3 with a run scored versus Tusculum on Feb. 21.
He had a career day on March 17, 2016 against Cedarville in his first career start by going 3-for-4 with a double, four RBI and two runs scored following that game with a 2-for-4 performance and a run scored the next day.
The Newton, N.J. native attended Newton High School where he was a consistent all-conference performer hitting .375 with a .493 on-base percentage compiling 30 hits, 12 RBIs and a .990 fielding percentage during his senior season.
His father, John, played baseball at Middle Tennessee State in 1983-84.
Ketvirtis starts his tenure at Carson-Newman after spending three years with his alma mater Siena Heights University. The 2018 Siena graduate holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. In 2020, Ketvirtis received his Master’s degree in Business Administration from Siena Heights University.
He worked primarily with position players handling the infield and outfield for the Saints. He was the third base coach for SHU. In the previous two years at SHU, Ketvirtis coached one WHAC Gold Glove recipient. While pursuing his undergrad, Ketvirtis played for the Siena Heights baseball team from 2015-2018. In the 2017 season, he was awarded the Coach’s Award. Over the summer of 2021, he was the head coach for the Myrtle Beach 8’s in the Ripken Experience Collegiate League.
Krob makes the transition from catcher for the past two seasons to the coaching staff. Over 40 games with the Eagles, the right-handed hitter produced a .394 on-base percentage with a couple homers and 19 RBIs while swiping five bases. Prior to his time in Jefferson City, Krob appeared in 45 games over two years with Evansville blasting three homers and racking up four multi-hit games.
The four-year starter for Argo High School ranked No. 10 catcher in Illinois by Prep Baseball Report. The Justice, Ill. native hit .408 in high school with 13 homer and spent his final prep summer with Southland Vikings in the Midwest Collegiate League finishing in the top five in runs batted in and the top 10 in both slugging percentage and on-base percentage.
Rounding out the list of coaching hires, Sofield brings three years of coaching experience spending 2019 through 2021 as a pitching coach for the University of Dubuque, a Division III school out of the American Rivers Conference. The pitching staff was best in the league at limiting walks ranking second in ERA and shutouts. He worked with Ketvirtis as the pitching coach for the Myrtle Beach 8’s over the summer of 2021. At C-N, he will work with the pitchers and analytics.
As a player, Sofield played at New Jersey Institue of Technology helping the program earn their first winning season in its Division I history. The right-hander made 35 appearances over four years tossing 46 2/3 innings.