Finlandia adds three assistant baseball coaches

HANCOCK, Mich. (WLUC) — Finlandia baseball head coach Evan Brandt has announced that Jack Brundage, Cole Jepsen and Matt Valin will join the coaching staff for the 2023 season.

Valin has been the pitching coach for the past three years at Jefferson CC (NY). He has also been playing professional baseball since 2019.

Valin has enjoyed success at all levels of his playing career. At LaFargeville Central (NY), he was a three-time All-Frontier League selection.

Valin began his college career at Onondaga CC (NY). In 2017, he was 8-1 with 93 strikeouts (school high in a single season) and a 2.25 ERA in 52 innings and was named to the All-Mid State Athletic Conference First Team. . Valin was 12-3 with 138 strikeouts and a 3.17 ERA in 93.7 innings during his career (2016-17). He helped the Lazers go 67-33 and qualify for the Region III tournament in 2016.

Valin then took his talents to SUNY-Cortland (2018-19). In 2019, he was 9-0 with 92 strikeouts and a 2.35 ERA in 69 innings. Valin set the SUNYAC tournament record with 17 strikeouts against SUNY-Fredonia (May 4, 2019). The Red Dragons finished 34-13-1 and captured an NCAA Regional Championship. Valin was a SUNYAC All-Star, Joint Pitcher of the Year, All-New York Region and was an All-America on two teams (d3baseball.com first, ABCA third).

During his career, Valin was 10-0 with 126 strikeouts and a 2.60 ERA in 90 innings. He set the school record for the highest single-season (2019) and career winning percentage. Valin helped the Red Dragons go 69-25-1 with two trips to the regional tournament.

Coach Brandt on Valin

“I am extremely excited to add Matt to our coaching staff. He has a wealth of experience as a D3 level player. Matt’s career at Cortland was outstanding and he learned from one of the best coaches in baseball D3. He will provide a lot of tangible information to our pitching team as he transitions from D3 to professional baseball. I believe Matt’s work in D3 baseball will be a goal for our pitchers to follow. He is a very smart young coach who will strengthen our player development program with our pitching team. I believe Matt’s ability to identify with our players and guide them through the development process will be an incredible opportunity for these young pitchers.

Jepsen has coached the Marquette Blues (American Legion) for the past two years. He helped guide the Blues to the Michigan Class A state championship in 2021 and a third-place finish in 2022.

Jepsen had a solid career at Houghton High School, which culminated in being named Copper Country Conference pitcher and Senior Player of the Year. He was primarily a pitcher at the College of Lake County (Illinois), Rock Valley CC (Illinois), and Truman.

Coach Brandt on Jepsen

“I am delighted to add Cole to our coaching staff. I had the pleasure of watching him play as a young ball player and was always impressed with his versatility on the pitch. In college, Cole spent most of his time on the mound, but he brings us a ton of all-court experience His ability to lead young ball players down the field is something I’ve had the pleasure of seeing these last two years with Marquette. Cole will help with all aspects of the team. He will sometimes help Coach Valin with the pitching and will also help me and Coach Brundage with the hitting and defensive side of things. Cole will also be our third base coach. He has done an incredible job on the player development side for Marquette and will help solidify that part of our program here.”

Brundage is no stranger to Finlandia as he has been in the baseball program for four years. As a player (2019-21), he had a strong season in 2021 with six doubles and a .294 batting average. In 2022, Brundage was a student assistant coach for the Lions.

Coach Brandt on Brundage

“I’m delighted to officially announce Jack as an assistant here. He’s a great young man who has a lot of respect in our program. As a player, Jack was an amazing teammate and the hardest worker in the game. team. He provides a wealth of knowledge to our outfielders and does a great job managing their daily training schedule. Jack also helps with our offensive game. He was a very skilled college hitter and gives our players great offensive perspective I will continue to enjoy watching Jack build and nurture relationships within our program. Much of our team has played alongside him and seeing those relationships evolve says a lot about who Jack is and what he means to our program. Great to have him to help develop our program. Jack is also our first core coach.

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