JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman baseball coach Tom Griffin solidified his 2020 coaching staff Friday morning adding Pat Brown as the pitching coach with John Topoleski and Drew Korzybski joining as assistants for the upcoming season.
The trio joins the veteran skipper and a pair of South Atlantic Conference gold glovers in Brandon Roberts and Tyler Miller to lead the Eagles into a new decade of action.
Brown takes over for Mark Allen who accepted a job on the coaching staff for Walters State, one of the elite junior college programs in the country, last month. He most recently spent two years at Arcadia University, a Division III program located in Glenside, Pa.
In 2017, his first season with the Knights the team won its second consecutive MAC Commonwealth championship and participated in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional tournament. The Knights went on to win their second NCAA game in program history, eventually having their season ended in game three of the tournament with a 4-1 loss to Rowan University. In that season, Brown helped guide senior right hander Mike Boulanger to First Team All-Conference Honors.
In year two at Arcadia, the Knights went on to earn the No. 3 seed in the MAC Commonwealth tournament and saw their season end in the semifinals with a loss to Widener University. The pitching staff lowered the team ERA from the previous year and also saw an improvement in the number of walks allowed. In the first conference weekend, junior right hander Tyler Showers threw the second no-hitter in program history with a 6-0 conference win over Messiah College. Brown also helped guide senior right hander Joel Bartoni to several different accolades. Bartoni, a senior from Alburtis, Pa., finished the season with a conference-leading nine wins, while ranking third in innings pitched (68.0), and sixth in strikeouts (51). He also led all league starters with a 1.85 ERA. His nine victories ranked tied for 11th in the nation, as well as tied for the most in a single season in program history. These numbers earned him a first-team All-Conference selection, ABCA first-team All-Region selection, and D3baseball.com second-team All-Region selection.
Prior to Arcadia, Brown completed a two-year stint as the pitching coach at NCAA Division II Bloomsburg University. The Huskies lowered their team ERA and opponent batting average while raising their strikeout total in both the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Bloomsburg set the team record for strikeouts with 299 in 2017. Three of Brown's pitchers were selected to play in the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game following each of those seasons, while Ashton Raines led the New England Collegiate Baseball League in ERA and was a NECBL All-Star in 2017. Raines went on to sign a professional contract with the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League following his career at Bloomsburg in 2019.
As a player Brown was a four-year varsity player at perennial power SUNY Oswego where he was a two-year team captain. Brown made 38 career relief appearances over three years, totaling 55 strikeouts over 71.1 innings. Brown was part of two teams that set the school record for wins in a season with 27 in both 2013 and 2015. He was a senior captain of the 2015 team that earned a berth into the NCAA Regional for the first time in 19 years and pitched on a staff that was top 25 in almost every pitching statistic in the country.
The Liverpool, New York native spent the summer of 2015 as the Pitching Coach for the High Point Thomasville HiToms of the Coastal Plains League, one of the premier college summer leagues in the country. A total of seven players from the 2015 HiToms team have since been selected in the Major League draft.
During his high school career, he was a two-year varsity captain of state ranked Liverpool High School, winning two league titles. He finished his high school career with a record of 10-2 on the mound with a 1.20 ERA. In his senior season Brown was 6-1 with a 0.82 ERA. Earning him first-team All Central New York honors and an All-State Selection.
Brown completed his bachelor's degree in health and wellness promotion in May 2015 with minors in athletic coaching and health science. He then completed his master's in exercise science at Bloomsburg in May 2017.
Korzybski is a Knoxville, Tenn. native and in his first season with Carson-Newman University. He attended Karns High School where he played for John Rice and Matt Hurley and a member of the All-District team in 2014.
He attended Cleveland State Community College in Cleveland, Tenn. for two years where he finished second on the career wins list with 13. In 2015, Korzybski led the team with 5 wins and led the 2016 team in innings (93.0) wins (8) and ERA (2.97) and was tabbed first-team All-TCCAA. Following his career at Cleveland State, he accepted a scholarship to pitch at East Tennessee State University. In his two years for the Bucs, he was a starter and reliever and threw a total of 98 innings while in Johnson City. After his junior year at ETSU, he played summer ball in Plymouth, Massachusetts for the Plymouth Pilgrims of the NECBL. He finished the summer of 2017 with 38 innings, a 3-2 record, 2.82 ERA and 34 strikeouts. Drew's senior year at ETSU saw the hurler lead the team in appearances (24) and ERA. After his senior year, Drew moved to Seattle, Washington to train at Driveline Baseball. Following his time there he spent one year as the Varsity Pitching Coach at Hardin Valley Academy.
Topoleski is starting his first season with the Carson-Newman baseball program after a being an all-conference player and two-year coach at Tusculum. He will work with the hitters and infielders.
The Lawrenceville, Ga. native proved to be one of the most durable and dependable third basemen during his Tusculum career which spanned four seasons from 2014-2017. His 209 career hits are the fifth-most in school history and are the most at his position. He also holds program records with his 37 career sacrifice bunts and was hit by a pitch a school record 30 times. He scored 114 runs and drove in 116 RBIs. Of his hit total, 27 went for doubles while also hitting five home runs with one triple.
He led the Pioneers to four consecutive 30-win seasons as Tusculum posted a 94-78 overall record including 60-45 in South Atlantic Conference play. Tusculum finished in the top half of the league standings in each of his campaigns including a runner-up finish 2016 while capturing a share of the program's fourth SAC Tournament title.
In his 2014 freshman season, he garnered All-SAC honorable mention accolades and earned a spot on the SAC All-Defensive team. He finished third on the team with his .329 batting average and fourth with 47 total hits. He accounted for nine doubles, 23 RBI and a home run to go along with his eight stolen bases.
In 2016, he started in 55 games at third base and batted .311 with 61 hits including seven doubles, one home run and 30 RBI. He posted a team-best 14-game hitting streak where he batted .412 during the streak. He batted .316 with three RBI and two runs scored and played errorless baseball in his 16 total chances during the Pioneers' SAC Tournament run. He earned a spot on the SAC All-Tournament team as Tusculum earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Division II Tournament. The Pioneers posted a 2-2 record to finish third at the Southeast Regional in Columbus, Georgia as Topoleski recorded a hit in all four games.
He saved his best season for last in 2017 as he earned All-SAC first team honors batting .377 which was ninth in the league. He totaled 63 hits in the season with four doubles, two home runs and 36 RBI. He finished his career with a 15-game hitting streak going 23-for-53 (.426) during that run and finished the year with 18 multiple-hit outings. He returned to the SAC All-Defensive team for a second team as he posted a .925 fielding percentage. He was also named to the All-Southeast Region honorable mention team by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America (NCBWA).
Topoleski earned his Bachelor's degree from Tusculum in 2017 while majoring in criminal justice and was a member of the Tusculum Athletic Director's Honor Roll. He is working on his graduate degree in human resource management and talent development. His parents are Tom and Nicole and John has two siblings, Nick (20) and Liz (26).
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