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USPBL Announces 2018 Coaching Staff

January 9th, 2018

Rochester, Mich. — The United Shore Professional Baseball League announced the coaching staff for the 2018 season for the defending champion Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers, Eastside Diamond Hoppers, Utica Unicorns and Westside Woolly Mammoths. Entering its third season, the USPBL plays out of Jimmy John’s Field in Utica, Mich., and will host the season opener on Friday, May 11.

For complete bios on the 2018 Season Coaching Staff, please click here.

Director of Baseball Operations – Justin Orenduff

  • Justin Orenduff is the founder of the Delivery Value System and creator of the DVS Scoring System. Before DVS, Justin was an All-American pitcher at both George Washington University and Virginia Commonwealth University.  He was a first round draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers and member of the 2003 USA Collegiate National Team pitching alongside MLB stars Jered Weaver and Justin Verlander.

Deputy Director of Baseball Operations – Mike Zielinski

  • Mike Zielinski has worked in the sports industry for over 10 years in the high school, collegiate and professional levels. Zielinski started in the athletics department at Central Michigan University where he was a part of two MAC Championships. He then worked for the Detroit Lions and the Erie Seawolves. This will be his third season with the USPBL.

Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers

  • Manager – Chris Newell
    • Chris Newell has been in professional baseball since 1997 as a player, manager and scout. Through his private instruction, he has trained 44 players who have either been drafted professionally or signed professional contracts.
  • Assistant Coach – Ricky Castro
    • Ricky Castro has spent the last two years playing infield for the Eastside Diamond Hoppers. Castro was a collegiate standout at Frostburg State University.

Westside Woolly Mammoths

  • Manager – Shane McCatty
    • Shane McCatty played his collegiate baseball at Oakland University before being drafted by the Washington Nationals in 2009, playing four seasons in the organization. He led the Mammoths to the championship game last season in his inaugural year as head coach in the USPBL.
  • Assistant Coach – Alan Oaks
    • Oaks enters his second year as assistant coach of the Westside Woolly Mammoths. Following his playing career at the University of Michigan, both as a starting outfielder and starting pitcher, Oaks was drafted in the eighth round by the Florida Marlins in the 2010 MLB Draft.

Eastside Diamond Hoppers

  • Manager – Paul Noce
    • Paul Noce has been in the game of baseball for over 33 years including two stints in the Major Leagues for the Chicago Cubs (’87) and Cincinnati Reds (’90). In 2012, Noce was inducted into the Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame in San Mateo, California.
  • Assistant Coach – Forrest Koumas
    • Forrest Koumas helped lead South Carolina to its second straight College World Series championship in 2011 and finished his career 8-4 with a 4.22 ERA for the Gamecocks. He played for the Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers in the inaugural season for the USPBL and worked in the clubhouse this past season.

Utica Unicorns

  • Manager – Jim Essian
    • Jim Essian started his 46-year professional baseball career in 1970 with the Philadelphia Phillies in their minor league system. Over the next three years, Essian excelled at all levels of Minor League baseball and was moved up to the Big Leagues with the Phillies in 1973. For the next 11 years, Essian played for the Phillies, A’s, White Sox, Mariners and the Indians before moving on to a managerial role.
  • Assistant Coach – Willi Martin
    • Willi Martin played for the Utica Unicorns as a first baseman during the 2017 season. He previously shined at Liberty University and Mount Olive College.

Catching Coordinator – Ray Ortega

  • Former Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers catcher and assistant coach, Ortega enters his first year as the Catching Coordinator for the USPBL. Ray was an Under Armor All-American High School catcher, an All-MAAC Player from 2011-2013 at Manhattan, and NCAA Johnny Bench Award Finalist in 2013.

Field Coordinator – Paul Niggebrugge

  • Paul Niggebrugge coached Caravel Academy Baseball Team for 30 years, won four state championships and qualified for the state tournament in 27 of 30 years. He is fourth all-time in Delaware state history with 400 wins, and was inducted into the Delaware Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016.

About United Shore Professional Baseball League 

Rochester, Michigan-based General Sports and Entertainment founded the United Shore Professional Baseball League (USPBL), an independent professional baseball league in metro Detroit in 2015. The league plays in the new state-of-the-art $17 million dollar ballpark named Jimmy John’s Field, located in downtown Utica, Mich. The first of its kind for the region, the USPBL provides a fun and exciting family atmosphere while showcasing top baseball talent from across the country and world to fans of all ages. The USPBL currently features four teams – the Utica Unicorns, Eastside Diamond Hoppers, Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers and Westside Woolly Mammoths. The USPBL’s 2018 baseball season will begin May 11 and will run through Sept. 9. Additional teams and ballparks will be added in future years.

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