Baseball Instructors

Baseball Instructors

Jason Pearson
Position(s) at Sportsplex: Sticks Director; Pitching Instructor
Levels of Play: High School; Collegiate (Illinois State University); Professional (San Diego Padres; St. Louis Cardinals)
Area(s) of Expertise: Pitching
About Jason: Jason Pearson has been at Sportsplex for 15 years (earning him the nickname “grandpa”). His very successful baseball career as a D1 and professional athlete makes him an exceptional coach, specifically in the area of pitching. Jason is passionate about helping athletes learn about the game and develop the necessary skills to be successful in it.


Evan Romanchuk

Position(s) at Sportsplex: Baseball Director; High School Sticks Director; Spects National Director
Levels of Play: High School; Collegiate (Santa Rosa Junior College; Arkansas Tech; San Francisco State); Independent Professional (Victoria Seals; Coastal Kingfish; South Louisiana Pipeliners); Belgian Pro League (Namue Angels); Great Britain National Team (2009 Baseball World Cup)
Area(s) of Expertise: Hitting; recruiting
About Evan: Evan has been at Sportsplex since 2011. Since joining the team, he has proven to be an outstanding coach and instructor, leading many players to the next level of baseball. Evan understands the recruiting world better than nearly anyone and will work with athletes to understand their goals and attain them.


David Conrad

Position(s) at Sportsplex: Baseball Director of Next Step Sports; Pitching Instructor
Levels of Play: High School; Collegiate (DMACC; University of Nebraska Omaha; University of Northern Iowa)
Area(s) of Expertise: Pitching
About David: Joining Sportsplex in 2017, David Conrad has used his baseball experience to better athletes in many different ways. Not only has his successful pitching career made him an excellent instructor for the position, but his understanding of the recruitment process has helped many athletes continue their baseball careers at the collegiate level.


Zach McCool 

Position(s) at Sportsplex: Iowa Sticks High School Director; Sportsplex West Apparel; Lesson/Program Instructor
Levels of Play: High School; Collegiate (University of Iowa)
Area(s) of Expertise: Infielding; hitting
About Zach: Zach McCool has been a part of Sportsplex West since 2019. Zach was very successful as a D1 player, starting consistently throughout his career and racking up multiple Academic All-Big Ten selections. His experience in baseball has led him to be proficient in many areas, but especially in infielding and hitting.


Kenny Namanny

Position(s) at Sportsplex: Project 90 Director
Levels of Play: High School; Collegiate (Southwestern CC; University of Nebraska-Kearney;  Morningside College)
Area(s) of Expertise: Pitching data/analytics; velocity training
About Kenny: Kenny has been at Sportsplex since 2019. In his time as an athlete, he helped his team qualify to the state tournament in high school, as well as helped Morningside find success after a rough season. After graduating, Kenny secured a job as an assistant coach at Southwestern CC where he became an expert in pitching data/analytics and velocity training. This knowledge is what makes him a perfect director and instructor for Project 90, our 11-week summer pitching program.


Blake Marchant

Position(s) at Sportsplex: Director of Leagues and Tournaments
Levels of Play: High School; Collegiate (Grand View University)
Area(s) of Expertise: Catching;hitting
About Blake: A part of Sportsplex since 2015, Blake has helped countless players find success in the sport. He had a very successful collegiate career, earning NAIA 2nd Team All American, MCC Conference Player of the Year, and 1st team All-Conference titles. Blake’s love and knowledge of the sport makes him an outstanding coach and director.


Joel “JC” Baxley

Position(s): Director of Player Development; Director of Sticks Strength

Athletic Background: High school baseball (2x 1st Team All-Region Utility; All-American Honorable Mention); Hutchinson Community College; Southwestern Oklahoma State University (Conference Championship)

About Joel: Joel is an expert in many areas of baseball, but especially in overall player development and strength. His high school and collegiate experience have provided him with extensive baseball knowledge, leading him to a career in coaching immediately after college. Joel specializes in hitting, catching, strength, and conditioning. In fact, he is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, as well as OnBaseU certified.


Austin Marchant

Position(s) at Sportsplex: Youth Sticks Director; Assistant Director of Leagues and Tournaments
Levels of Play: High School; Collegiate (Grand View University); Independent Professional (Florence Freedom)
Area(s) of Expertise: Pitching
About Austin: Joining Sportsplex part-time five years ago and full-time three years ago, Austin has done a lot for the program. He had a very successful baseball career, breaking three collegiate school records, making 1st Team All American, and becoming a two-time All- Conference Player. Austin is knowledgable in many areas of the sport, but is best with pitching instruction.


Nolan Friedrichs

Position(s) at Sportsplex: Iowa Sticks Players Relations Coordinator
Levels of Play: High School; Collegiate (Ellsworth CC; Upper Iowa University)
Area(s) of Expertise: Player development (specifically hitting)
About Nolan: Nolan Friedrichs is the Players Relations Coordinator for the Iowa Sticks. Joining the Sportsplex West family in 2021, Nolan has provided both hands-on and behind-the-scenes efforts to help players reach their full potential.


Zach Baxley

Position(s) at Sportsplex: Sticks Coach/Trainer
Levels of Play: High School; Collegiate (Hutchinson Community College; Southwestern Oklahoma State University)
Area(s) of Expertise: Position work; body/spacial awareness
About Zach: Zach officially joined the Sportsplex team in 2022, but has been assisting with various jobs for years. In his time at Hutchinson, Zach became the 34th player in the school history to have over 100 hits. Additionally, when at SWOSU, he was named 1st team All-Region utility player. Zach’s priority in coaching is to mentor kids to reach their full potential on and off the field by being someone they can always count on and leading them where they want to go.


Taylor Zuetenhorst
Position(s): Baseball Instructor; High School Prep Coach

Athletic Background: Philadelphia Phillies (drafted after senior year of high school); University of Iowa; Seattle Mariners (drafted after senior year of college); Minor League Baseball (2 seasons); Independent Baseball League (7 years)

About Taylor: Taylor has an extensive history in baseball, including high school, Division 1, minor league, major league, and independent league experience. Taylor worked at Diamond Dreams in Iowa City for four years, expanding his coaching knowledge. Taylor is excited and passionate about helping players grow to their full potential and achieve the goals they set for their team and themselves.


Luke Eldred
Position(s): Pitching instructor

Athletic Background: Dallas Baptist University (Freshman All-American; MVC Tournament honors; MVC Pitcher of the Week nominations; Scholar Athlete awards; 5 straight NCAA Regional appearances); Major League Baseball Draft League

About Luke: Luke’s baseball career was inspired all throughout his childhood. His father, Cal Eldred, coached in the MLB for 14 years, working with teams such as the Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, and Kansas City Royals. Growing up around baseball, Luke found a love for the sport early on. His D1 career at Dallas Baptist was very successful, earning him many honors and nominations. Luke is passionate about working on pitching with athletes one-on-one. He is excited to help them improve their skills through lessons and instruction.


Tonto Baxley
Position(s): Recruiting Coordinator; Baseball Instructor; Prep Coach
Athletic Background: Miami Southridge High School; Miami Dade College
About Tonto: Tonto has a long career centered on the sport of baseball. After playing at Miami Dade College, he began working as a coach. He ran his own academy in Wichita for four years before entering the world of recruitment. In this position, he helped 268 athletes sign to play at the next level. Tonto is passionate about helping players follow their dreams and reach their full potential, both as an athlete and as a person.


Carter Eldridge
Position(s): Iowa Sticks Player Development Coach

Athletic Background: Waukee High School (baseball); Marshalltown Community College (2 years); Grand View University

About Carter: Carter grew up playing baseball and was an Iowa Sticks player himself. After graduating from Waukee High School, Carter played college baseball at Marshalltown Community College, followed by Grand View University. While playing at Grand View, Carter worked as the sports coordinator for nonprofit Can Play, planning and running baseball camps. Additionally, he coached at many hitting and catching clinics through Grand Slam. After graduating, Carter decided to further explore the world of coaching. He is very passionate about coaching athletes and sharing his knowledge on the game with them.