Veteran coach Craig Antush is entering his 16th season on the Youngstown State baseball staff.
During his 15 seasons at YSU, Antush has helped develop six pitchers who were taken in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft and four others who signed professional contracts. He's also been on two coaching staffs that have led the program to a Horizon League Tournament Championship and an NCAA Regional.
Antush has coached two Horizon League pitchers of the year - Justin Thomas in 2005 and Aaron Swenson in 2008 - and another first-team all-Horizon League hurler in Phil Klein (2009). Brad Hennessey was the Mid-Continent Conference Pitcher of the Year in Antush's first season on campus.
Hennessey is the highest draft choice in school history. He was selected 21st overall by the San Francisco Giants in 2001 and went on to make his Major League debut for the Giants in 2004.
In 2005, Thomas was selected as the third pick in the fourth round by the Seattle Mariners after being named the Horizon League Pitcher of the Year. Thomas has been promoted to the Majors twice and is currently in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.
Following the 2010 season, two Penguins pitchers moved on to the professional ranks. Eric Marzec, a pitcher from Canton, Ohio, was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 30th round and 909th overall. Marzec earned two championship rings in the minors, pitching for Helena Brewers and the Brewers affiliate in the Arizona League. He was honored by minorleaguebaseball.com as the top playoff pitcher in the Pioneer League for his performance with Helena. Swenson signed a free agent contract with the Baltimore Orioles and was promoted to the Class A South Atlantic League midway through the year.
Swenson earned second-team All-Horizon League honors while Marzec was recognized as a second-team utility player for the third straight season.
In 2011, Klein was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 30th round. The senior right-hander went 5-5 with a Horizon League-high 105 strikeouts in 15 starts. Klein finished his career with 258 strikeouts, which ranks him second on the all-time list. The 105 strikeouts are the second-most for a season in school history, behind only 126 by Hennessey. Klein was a second-team All-Horizon League selection for his efforts.
Other Penguins pitchers to be drafted with Antush on staff include Mike Abdalla by Kansas City in the 40th round, and Matt Brumit in the 44th round by the New York Yankees in 2002.
At the end of 2006, Kevin Libeg signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Cleveland Indians, and Eric Shaffer signed with the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League. Corey Ohalek also signed with the Florida Marlins at the end of the 2003 season.
Antush has also been active in non-collegiate instruction in his career. He served as pitching coach for the Staunton Braves of the Shenandoah Valley Baseball League during the summers of 1999, 2000, 2002, and he coached the Wyomissing American Legion squad and the freshman team at Muhlenberg High School in his hometown of Reading, Pa. In the summer of 1993, Antush coached a team of Athletes In Action in a four-week tour of Alphen, Holland; Czech Republic and Montpellier.
Prior to his arrival at YSU, Antush was the head coach at Marshall University from 1996-98 and served as pitching coach for the Thundering Herd for five seasons from 1991-1995.
Antush had a notable career as a player at the collegiate level as a relief pitcher for the University of Alabama. He compiled a career record of 9-3 and recorded seven saves for the Crimson Tide. His senior season, the Crimson Tide reached the College World Series title game but fell to Texas.
He earned his Bachelors Degree from the University of Alabama in 1983 and his Master's Degree in health and physical education at Marshall in 1995.
Antush is a teacher at Hickory High School in Hermitage, Pa.