Randolph-Macon alum Ray Hedrick '97 returned to his alma mater in 2005, resurrecting the baseball program and returning it to prominence in both the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) and the South Region.
Since his arrival, Hedrick has led the Yellow Jackets to four ODAC titles, the most in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference over that twelve year stretch. Additionally, the Diamond Jackets have made four NCAA appearances, including a run to the Mideast Region championship in 2016. For his efforts, Hedrick has been named the Coach-of-the-Year in the state of Virginia three times (2008. 2013, 2016).
The success of the program over the past twelve seasons has led to over 40 All-Conference players, including five ODAC Rookie-of-the-Year, four ODAC Pitcher-of-the-Year, and two ODAC Player-of-the-Year award winners. Randolph-Macon has been the home to three South Region Pitcher-of-the-Year, three South Region Rookie-of-the-Year and two South Region Player-of-the-Year winners. Hedrick has also instructed four ABCA All-American honorees in Travis Beazley ‘06, and Jordan Walton ’12, Travis Lodge ’16 and James Walsh ’16. The program has seen four players sign professional contracts in Travis Beazley ‘06 (Boston - MLB), James Bierlein ’11 (Independent), Jordan Walton ‘12 (St. Louis Cardinals - MLB), and James Walsh ‘16 (Independent).
Prior to coming to Ashland, Hedrick served as top assistant and recruiting coordinator at three different schools before his return to Ashland in the fall of 2004. Prior to his hiring as Randolph-Macon's head coach, Hedrick was the top assistant to Paul O'Neil at Division II UNC Pembroke (2001-2004) and at Division III Shenandoah University (1998-2000). At both institutions, Hedrick helped O'Neil resurrect programs that had not tasted success in years into national powers, while quickly establishing himself as one of the top young coaches and recruiters among the college baseball coaching ranks. In seven seasons as an assistant, Hedrick's teams amassed 175 wins, including record-setting campaigns in 2000 at Shenandoah, and the 2001 and 2003 seasons at UNCP. Hedrick's recruits played a major role in the success of each program. Out of his six various recruiting classes, Hedrick had several all-conference, all-region and all-state players, as well as three All-Americans, including a player who won the triple crown in the Dixie Conference (now USA South) while leading the country with a .506 batting average in 2000.
A Springfield, Virginia native, Hedrick played two years of JUCO baseball at Prince George's Community College for legendary coach William "Bumps" Vaughan. He went on to finish his degree and playing career at Randolph-Macon College, helping lead the Yellow Jackets to the ODAC championships in 1997. After graduating from Randolph-Macon in 1997 with a B.A. degree in political science, Hedrick served as an assistant for Vaughan at PGCC. Hedrick also worked with the Bowie Baysox, the AA Eastern League affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, before joining O'Neil in 1998.
While working his way up the coaching ladder as an assistant, Hedrick served three summers (2001-2003) as head coach of the New Market Rebels of the prestigious Valley Baseball League. During his tenure, Hedrick amassed 77 wins and led the Rebels to two championship appearances, winning the league in 2002 and falling seven outs short of repeating in 2003. Over the course of those three summers, Hedrick coached over 30 players who played on professionally, including five on the major league level. Current major leaguer Brett Gardner (N.Y. Yankees) played for Hedrick in the summer of 2003 after his freshman year at College of Charleston.
Aside from building a strong reputation for R-MC on the field, Hedrick has represented R-MC on the national level as well. From 2008-2010, Hedrick was the ODAC representative on the NCAA Regional Committee, a group put together to organize the post-season playoff field each spring. Hedrick is currently the South Region representative on the ABCA All-American committee, as role which he began in 2016.
Hedrick is married to the former Sheree Rogers of Woodstock, Virginia. They have one daughter, Maris who turns 11 in June of 2017 and one son, Garner Chase who celebrated his sixth birthday in January of 2017. The Hedricks reside in Ashland.
Assistant Coach / Recruiting Coordinator
M.L. Morgan enters his second season as a member of the Yellow Jacket baseball staff.
He leads position player skill development and recruiting efforts for the Yellow Jackets.
Morgan comes to Ashland after spending four seasons as a member of VCU Baseball staff. Three seasons as an assistant coach , one season as the Director of Baseball Operations.
Morgan's primary responsibilities were coaching outfielders, serving as first base coach, and coordinating all Rams Baseball Camps.
In Morgan's first year as the Volunteer Assistant Coach, the Rams won their first-ever Atlantic 10 Championship. The Rams also won the Dallas Regional and advanced to VCU's first ever Super Regional in program history. The Rams finished the year ranked 17th in the nation by the NCBWA. Since his arrival, the Rams are only one of 14 programs in the country with 37-plus wins.
Prior to VCU, Morgan served as the Assistant Director of Compliance and Director of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee at Old Dominion University. Morgan's first post-college stop was at the Colonial Athletic Association as the compliance and administration intern.
The Dinwiddle, Va. native earned his Bachelor's of Science in Accounting from VCU in 2010. A member of the baseball team, Morgan was part of two conference championships and two NCAA regional apperances as an outfielder for the Rams. Morgan received his Master's of Education in Sports Leadership from VCU in 2014.
He resides in Richmond with his wife, Sernarra Archie, who was a track athlete at VCU.
James Walsh is in his second year as an assistant coach at his alma mater.
His primary responsibility is leading the day-to-day development of the pitching staff.
Walsh was a three-year member of the R-MC baseball program. The left-handed pitcher posted a 10-0 record in 14 starts in 2016 with an ERA of 1.98. He was fourth in the nation with 10 wins, the top mark in program history. Walsh was fifth in the country with 14 starts. His 14 starts and 95.1 innings pitched were also Yellow Jacket program records. Walsh recorded 102 strikeouts, the fourth-highest total in the nation and second in program history, six away from the school record. Walsh was All-America First Team by D3baseball.com, American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and Hero Sports. He was Pitcher of the Year in the South Region, in the state of Virginia and in the ODAC.
A native of Mechanicsville, Va., Walsh helped R-MC go 35-8-1 in 2016 and reach the regional finals for the first time in program history. The Yellow Jackets were nationally-ranked the entire season, rising as high as No. 2.
During his three-year career with the Yellow Jackets, Walsh had a record of 20-5 with an ERA of 2.46. He is first in program history with 227 career strikeouts, third with 20 career victories, fourth with 34 career starts and fifth with a career winning percentage of .800.
After earning a degree in Environmental Studies from R-MC in 2016, Walsh pitched professionally with the Sioux City Explorers of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.