Head Coach Evan Agona | 4th Year
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Evan Agona is in his 4th season as Head Baseball Coach at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) and 13th overall at the collegiate level. In just three years he has quickly turned the program from a relatively unknown to a perennial regional and national contender. In his first three seasons Agona has led the Challengers to an overall 128-48 (.727) record, winning over 45 games in each of the last two seasons. The 2017 campaign saw the Challengers follow up a record setting season with another outstanding campaign compiling an overall record of 45-14, and for the 2nd consecutive year come up just short of a World Series berth as the 3rd place finisher in the NJCAA Region XII Tournament. In 2016 Agona’s squad set a school record with 47 wins, and won the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference. Over the past two seasons the team has earned national recognition finishing the last two seasons in the top 15 of the national rankings and reaching a program best 6th ranking during May 2016. Additionally, the Challengers have had two of the nation’s longest winning streaks over the past two years winning 21 consecutive games in 2017 and an 18-game stretch in 2016. During his tenure 13 players have been honored as All-Conference Selections, 4 as All-Region Selections, and 2 All-American Selections. The Challengers lineup has also featured the conference player of the year in each of the last two seasons with Matt Starcovic in 2017 and Manny Rodriguez in 2016. In 2017 first-baseman Garett Robberts was also the recipient of the prestigious national Rawlings Gold Glove Award. Agona’s players have also be recognized for their efforts in the classroom with 16 players earning Academic All-Conference honors and 3 have been recognized as Academic All-Americans. Furthermore over 30 players have moved on to attend 4-year programs in the past three plus seasons.
Agona came to Tri-C after spending 5 years as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Mount Union. During his time at Mount Union the program achieved unprecedented success; highlighted by a program first conference championship and NCAA Regional Tournament appearance in 2013. He began his coaching career at Thiel College (PA) where he served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator from 2004-2007. He served the 2007-08 season as a junior college head coach at Mercyhurst-North East (PA) and was the head coach at Slippery Rock Area High School (PA) in 2009.
Throughout his coaching career, Agona has coached numerous players that received recognition for their successes including; 53 All-Conference selections, 15 All-Region selections, 3 All-American selections, 2 conference Player of the Year selections and a conference Pitcher of the Year. Additionally, 3 of his former players have moved on to play professionally. During each of his four stops at the collegiate level, the program has set numerous school records including single-season wins at all four during his tenure.
Agona was a four-year letter winner, and part of two North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) championship teams at The College of Wooster where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business economics in 2004. He earned a master’s degree in sport management from Slippery Rock University (PA) in 2008. Prior to college he attended Ursuline High School in Youngstown, where he was a two-year letter winner in both baseball and football. During his baseball career he twice earned honors as a 1st Team All-Steel Valley Conference player and was a captain of the 2000 OHSAA State Championship team.
In addition to his coaching role, Agona also serves as an adjunct professor on campus. Additionally, he owns his own business Agona Baseball Camps, LLC where he conducts showcases, camps, lessons, and tournaments. Agona currently resides in Canton, with his wife Mary Kate and their children Aubree (4) and Easton (1).
Coach Saylor will be responsible for leading recruiting efforts and will be primarly responsible for coaching catchers and infielders.
Saylor joins the program after spending last season as an assist coach at John Carroll University. While at John Carroll, the program won the conference championship and made an appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament. Scott was responsible for coaching infielders and hitters; as well assisting with student-athlete recruitment and coordination of camps.
In addition to his time at John Carroll, Saylor spent time as an assistant coach at Barberton High School. During his playing career Saylor spent time at Malone University and the University of Akron. He graduated in 2012 from the University of Akron with a degree in Sports Management. Additionally, Scott has spent the last 3 years working with the All America Baseball Academy conducting camps and lessons for youth and high school players.
Coach Merritt will serve as Pitching Coach.
Bob comes to Cuyahoga Community College after spending the past 4 seasons as the Pitching Coach at Baldwin-Wallace University. During his time at Baldwin-Wallace the program and the pitching staff inparticular under his tuteledge experienced dramatic improvements. Over each of the last 3 seasons the team broke school records for wins, and in 2014 the program reached the NCAA Division III World Series.
Prior to Baldwin-Wallace, Merritt spent over 30 years as an Ohio high school teacher/coach at Crestwood and Caldwell High Schools. Merritt experienced great success at the high school level with over 400 career wins, numerous coach of the the year selections, and has been inducted the Northeast Ohio Baseball Coaches Association and the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association Halls of Fame. Additionally, Merritt developed over 50 players that went on to play collegiately and had one player selected in the Major League Baseball draft.
Merritt played baseball and earned his Bachelor's Degree from Miami (OH) University, and recieved his Master's Degree from Xavier University. He currently resides in Mantua with his wife Karen. The couple has two grown childern Brett and Brittany.