Seth McClung has played professional baseball since he was drafted in the fifth round by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1999. Now, with his playing career officially over, he will try his hand at coaching.
McClung will be the new baseball coach at Keswick Christian at the end of this season. He is taking over for Brian Ibs, who has been promoted to a school administrator. Prior to this job, McClung was a girls basketball coach at Pinellas Park and Osceola.
"Obviously there was a little foreshadowing when I left Osceola,'' said McClung, who resigned at Osceola in March, just before he was released by the Pittsburgh Pirates. "I think this is the perfect opportunity for me. My kids go there and I've been around the program already.''
McClung, 33, will take over a program that has not had a lot of baseball success. The team is 7-8 this season and trails Canterbury and Lakeside Christian in Class 2A, District 8. But he expects the program to get better quickly.
"I fully expect kids to walk through the door (to play baseball),'' McClung said. "We're going to treat it like spring training. I'll be able to oversee all of the baseball, from middle school up. We'll have everybody on the same program. And we already have a good core of younger kids in the program.''
RECRUITING: Lakeside Christian's Christian Michener will play baseball at Des Moines Area Community College next season. Michener is coming off a junior season in which he hit .524 with three home runs and 34 RBIs. This season he is hitting .439 with 19 RBIs. He has a 1.91 ERA in 29 innings pitched, with 52 strikeouts - including 18 in one game.
* * *
SOFTBALL: PCAC title game implications were on the line when Palm Harbor University-East Lake and Northeast-Lakewood met Monday. Find out who will represent the conference in the championship at tampabay.com/hometeam.