By Benjamin Shinault
After an August coaching departure left a hole in its dugout, Rider baseball announced Casey Aubin as its new pitching coach on Sept. 12 with hopes of replicating a statistically dominant season at the mound.
Perhaps the largest factor in Rider’s dominant numbers last season was Pitching Coach Mike Petrowski. However, in the collegiate world of sports, when someone goes above and beyond what they are asked to do, they get other opportunities, and Petrowski was no exception as he became the new pitching coach at the University of North Florida in August.
Insert Aubin, who’s coming in from Southern New Hampshire University, where he helped the school to two College World Series appearances and a national semi-finals appearance last season. Aubin also raised the Penmen’s pitching numbers as a bulk of them finished in the top ten in their conference.
“The biggest thing I took away is the no-excuse mindset and to always find a way to make it happen,” said Aubin of his Division II coaching experience.
As a player, Aubin was a decorated pitcher, winning the New Hampshire Gatorade player of the year award in 2015 after his senior season of high school.
He then attended UMass and accumulated an impressive 130.2 innings pitched, 125 strikeouts over four seasons and had a 1.00 ERA with five saves as a closer in 2019. Despite the notable season Aubin had, he decided to hang up the cleats and head back into the dugout as a coach.
“When I was done there, I knew I was done playing and I wanted to get right into coaching,” said Aubin. “Baseball’s been my whole life and I wake up every morning excited about it and I can’t ask for a better job.”
Before Aubin’s days at SNHU, he was also a coach at Saint Peter’s, a MAAC rival of the Broncs. He spoke about his prior experiences with Rider from the opponent’s perspective.
“[The Broncs] are not going to beat themselves. They are a very hard team to beat and they make you play for 27 outs,” Aubin said. “They make you hit the ball, they don’t give out a lot of free passes and walks, they are not going to commit errors and have uncompetitive at-bats.”
Aubin, 26, still feels like he is still in touch with what today’s college ball players are expecting out of their coaches.
“I would like to think I’m a players coach but at the end of the day, there’s got to be an atomic balance,” Aubin said. You have to be empathetic and have the players back but there is a job that has to be done at the end of the day.”
With Aubin joining a new team with a different brand of pitching, he intends to lean on Head Coach Barry Davis and Assistant Coach Lee Lipinski to help steer him through his first season as pitching coach.
“Coach Davis and Coach Lipinski are both going to be huge resources for me,” said Aubin. “I’m going to rely on them heavily to not only get us off the starting block here in the fall, but they know what it takes to win in the MAAC and late in the season.”
After such an exuberant season, Aubin is excited to see the Broncs get back on Sonny Pittaro Field and try to match what was an unforgettable year for Rider.
“I’m excited to get to work,” said Aubin. “It’s an exciting time and I think it’s a good time to be a player in Rider’s baseball program.”
The Broncs hope that Aubin can translate his past successes at SNHU to Rider this upcoming season to ultimately help hang another banner in the outfield.