COLCHESTER, Vt. - After a season guiding the Saint Michael's College baseball program on an interim basis, Mat Pause was officially named head coach on Wednesday. Pause joined the program as the top assistant coach last fall before becoming the interim head coach for the spring season.
"I am excited for the opportunity to continue to coach at Saint Mike's," said Pause. "I believe we are right on the cusp of being a really good team in the Northeast-10 Conference. I'm from Vermont and am excited about being a part of helping build a program in Vermont. I believe that we have the pieces in place now with the guys we have returning and the guys we having coming this fall to be very competitive next year. I look forward to the opportunity and the future."
Despite fielding a team this spring that never had more than 17 healthy players - including just nine position players - Pause and the Purple Knights matched their highest win total in four years. Saint Michael's picked up victories against eventual NCAA Tournament qualifiers Assumption College (6-1) and Franklin Pierce University (2-0) while losing four times against those two squads by three runs or fewer. The Purple and Gold split a doubleheader with regionally-ranked American International College, winning 5-0 before losing 7-6, while also taking a 7-5 decision from regionally-ranked Merrimack College. An 8-5 loss to fourth-ranked Southern New Hampshire University, an NCAA East Super Regional qualifier, occurred on April 11, as Saint Michael's took 10 losses by three runs or fewer.
"This spring Mat demonstrated the work ethic, leadership and resilience that we hope to model and ignite within our student-athletes," said Associate Director of Athletics Meggan Dulude '07. "We are excited to move forward with Mat at the helm of our baseball program."
The Purple Knights drew their most bases on balls (133) since 2008 while eclipsing their year-old pitching strikeouts record by a single K (232) - in 29 fewer innings - when rising sophomore Sean Birch (Mansfield, Mass./Xaverian Brothers) struck out the second-to-last batter of the year at Bentley University on May 3. Birch was one of 15 active players on the roster appearing in either their first or second year of college baseball.
Pause, a native of Hartford, Vt., carries a wealth of coaching and teaching experience, already serving as an assistant coach at three different institutions. He assisted Colby-Sawyer College between 2016 and 2018 after helping the College of Saint Joseph (Vt.) qualify for the 2015 United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Small College World Series behind a 38-33 mark in his lone season there. During the spring of 2014, Pause was an assistant at the State University of New York Adirondack. Pause was the hitting coach for the Upper Valley Nighthawks in the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) in 2017 and 2018.