PIKEVILLE – University of Pikeville head baseball coach Chad Gassman spends a portion of his summer leading the Hyannis Harbor Hawks in the prestigious Cape Cod League and two of his most recent players heard their names called in the first round of the 2014 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft.
Leading the way was Evansville pitcher Kyle Freeland, taken eighth by the Colorado Rockies. Freeland was an all-star performer for Gassman in 2013 and is the highest draft pick from Hyannis since Pat Burrell was the top pick by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1998.
The other first rounder was also a pitcher, as East Carolina’s Jeffrey Hoffman was the next player off the board at No. 9 to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Gassman is in his sixth straight summer as the head coach of the Harbor Hawks, a position that helps him stay fresh with new ideas and techniques for his full-time team at UPIKE. The Cape Cod League has been the go-to destination for top college players to train in the summer since 1963 when it was officially sanctioned by the NCAA.
The Harbor Hawks had their best season under Gassman in 2011, winning their first West Division Regular-Season Championship and finishing with the best record in the entire league for the first time in three decades.