by Jordan Lank
MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. — You've probably heard it before. "A whole is greater than the sum of its parts."
The cliche Aristotelian phrase has applied to the Morehead City Marlins each of the last two seasons — it's certainly easy to speculate about where the two-time defending Coastal Plain League champions would be if not for the coaching staffs of yesteryear.
The Marlins hope to triplicate that synergy this year with the announcement of three new assistant coaches. Mount Olive graduates Cameron Sherrer and Nick DeCarlo, as well as 2019 Marlins catcher Tryus Barclay, headline head coach Jesse Lancaster's supporting staff for the 2020 season.
Lancaster's new hires all have one thing in common: familiarity. Each assistant coach has played under the Marlins' skipper at some point in their baseball careers, collegiately or with the Marlins.
Sherrer, currently an assistant coach at North Lenoir High School in La Grange, N.C., will serve as the lead assistant and third base coach on Lancaster's crew. The 31-year-old played for Lancaster at Mount Olive in 2012, where he compiled a .366 batting average with 12 extra-base hits and drove in 42 runs in his senior season. Sherrer went on to play independent professional baseball in both the Pecos League and the long-running Frontier League, where he amassed a .259 batting average over his four-year career with the Las Vegas Vaqueros, Santa Fe Fuego and Schaumburg Boomers, collecting a 2014 Frontier League Championship title along the way.
"When searching for an assistant the most important qualities for me were loyalty, energy, and [someone who is] a self-starter. We're fortunate to have that in Coach Sherrer," said Lancaster. "Cam will serve as a tremendous asset for our players in helping them understand the daily responsibilities of being a pro."
"I am extremely excited to join this amazing organization in Morehead City. I learned a lot from [Jesse] as a player and I am really excited to coach with him and continue to learn under his lead," Sherrer said in a statement. "I am so thrilled to be a part of this winning tradition and look forward to getting back out on the field."
Nick DeCarlo is another Lancaster disciple, having played for Mount Olive each of the last two seasons.
DeCarlo, a reliever for the Trojans in 2020, will serve as the Marlins pitching coach throughout the summer slate. In an abbreviated senior season, the right-hander helped Mount Olive to a 19-4 record by recording a 3.18 ERA through 11 ⅓ innings, while striking out 10 hitters. After transferring from Harford Community College in Bel Air, Md., DeCarlo appeared in 19 games (five starts) and fanned 43 batters over 40 ⅔ innings in his two-year stint under Lancaster.
"Nick is a former player of mine at the University of Mount Olive, and has made an impression with his work ethic, honesty and reliability," Lancaster said of the Gaithersburg, Md. native. "He'll assume the role of pitching coach and will be relied upon to manage our staff's daily and pre-game routines. He's also a first-class teammate and possesses a fun personality that makes him a great dugout guy."
"It's an honor…to be on the coaching staff for an organization like the Morehead City Marlins. Being able to coach alongside a mentor and friend of mine in Jesse will be a lot of fun," DeCarlo said of the opportunity. "I'm extremely excited to get back on the diamond and help our boys get back into action."
Lancaster also brings in a familiar face to Marlins fans in new Morehead City bench and bullpen coach Tyrus Barclay.
Barclay, who spent the summer of 2019 as a Marlins backstop, will step into this coaching role before attending graduate school at the University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D. The Wyoming, Ont. native helped anchor the Marlins' historic pitching staff last year while hitting .276 in 21 games, and caught Lancaster's attention off the field as well.
"I could not be more excited to have Tyrus Barclay returning to Morehead City as an assistant coach in 2020," he said. "Ty made a huge impact on our team in 2019 by being a great teammate, a tireless worker, and by bringing big energy on a daily basis."
In a shortened, 12-appearance campaign this spring at Emporia State (KS), Barclay drove in three runs on two extra-base hits, but shined for the Hornets in 2019 posting a .317 batting average and an .880 OPS, good for fourth-best among ESU hitters. Barclay also gunned down seven of nine potential base stealers en route to a .985 fielding percentage.
"Ty has a great understanding of our pitching staff management, offensive execution and in-game decision making, which will serve him well as our bench coach and bullpen coach," Lancaster said.
"I'm looking forward to being around the high-caliber talent once again this summer," Barclay said of his second stint on the Crystal Coast. "I will continue to soak as much up from the players as possible, as well as make their time in Morehead City as enjoyable as it was for me."
The Marlins look forward to beginning their second title defense in as many seasons on Wednesday, July 1 when they kick off the 2020 campaign at Big Rock Stadium.
The Coastal Plain League is the nation's premier summer collegiate baseball league. Heading into its 24th season in 2020, the CPL features 15 franchises playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. To date, the CPL has had over 1,450 alumni drafted and 118 alums — including 2017 ALCS MVP, 2017 World Series champion, 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander, as well as former Marlin and 2017 NLCS MVP Chris Taylor — make their Major League debut. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @CPLBaseball.