Carson City’s Nate Yeskie has had little time to celebrate national title with Oregon State
So Nate Yeskie, you’ve just won the national title with the Oregon State baseball team, where are you going?
Hitting the recruiting trail.
Although Yeskie and the Beavers were briefly able to bask in the glow of their College World Series title when they were welcomed back to Corvallis, Ore., right after that, it was back to work for Yeskie, the Beavers’ pitching coach since 2009.
During an interview last week, Yeskie was in a hotel room in San Jose on the recruiting trail and said he’ll be on the go until mid-November.
Yeskie said recruiting was going well, which obviously wasn’t surprising considering the Beavers just won the national title.
“Recruiting has just taken a different shape in the last 20 years,” said the 1993 Carson High graduate. “Kids are developing faster.”
And during the offseason it’s natural Yeskie’s name comes up frequently when it comes to reports and rumors.
DIBaseball.com’s Kendall Rogers reported Oregon State would make Yeskie one of the highest paid assistant coaches in college baseball, tweeting the school would pay him in the $230,000 to $250,000 range.
It would figure Oregon State would do everything it can to keep Yeskie, as it would figure other schools would show interest in him as a head coach. One of those schools rumored to show interest in Yeskie was Mississippi State before it hired Chris Lemonis.
The Portland Tribune also reported Oregon State head coach Pat Casey is contemplating retirement and Yeskie would be a logical replacement.
Whatever rewards Yeskie could be reaping they’re well-deserved. Yeskie’s successes and honors at Oregon State over the last 10 years are numerous.
Just in 2017, he mentored a pitching staff that led the nation in virtually every major pitching category. He was named DIBaseball.com’s Assistant Coach of the Year and Collegiate Baseball’s Pitching Coach of the Year after that season.
During his time at Oregon State, Yeskie has mentored 10 All-Americans, nine since 2013. In 2018, he mentored Luke Heimlich, the Pitcher of the Year, and Kevin Abel, the Freshman of the Year.
“There are people who have reached out in some capacity,” said Yeskie about head coaching opportunities.
But Yeskie said “I don’t like to spend a whole lot of time dwelling on it,” adding he’s focused on his current duties.
Yeskie did say “I think it would be something I would want to do to run a college program. It has to be the right fit.”
At Carson, Yeskie won a state title in 1992. “I remember it like it happened yesterday,” he said.
Yeskie remembers Carson’s 7-run rally in the seventh inning to take charge against Bonanza in the championship game. Yeskie remembers getting a hit during that rally and ending up at third.
He said legendary coach Ron McNutt, who was coaching third, told him, “After you score you’re going to finish this thing.”
So after Yeskie scored he headed to the bullpen. He remembers allowing a hit to begin the seventh, but then CHS almost turned a double play, settling for a fielder’s choice.
Yeskie said he believes brothers Jim and Joe Tierney were playing up the middle in the infield at the time and were the double play combination.
After the fielder’s choice came a diving catch of a line drive in the outfield and then Yeskie struck out the last batter for the title.
“He’s just a great resource,” said Yeskie, who added he still talks to McNutt. “I can’t say enough about him. He’s one of the biggest influences in my baseball career and throughout my life as well.”
Twenty-six years after closing out the state title, Yeskie got to watch his Freshman of the Year, Abel, close out the national title when he pitched a complete game shutout in a 5-0 win over Arkansas.
“He’s got a chance to be special,” said Yeskie, adding Abel’s skill set is quite advanced.
In 2011, at age 15, Heimlich pleaded guilty to one felony count of sexually molesting his 6-year-old niece. Despite pleading guilty, Heimlich has always maintained his innocence.
“Luke is a great kid,” Yeskie said, adding he obviously hopes for the best for Heimlich and he’ll eventually sigh with a Major League team. “I think he was the consummate professional.”
The College World Series title was made more special for Yeskie by the fact much of his family was there, including his parents, grandparents and aunt.
“It was pretty cool for my family to be there with me,” Yeskie said.
But because Yeskie has been on the go virtually ever since winning the title, he still hasn’t been able to fully celebrate the title. “It hasn’t quite sunk in yet,” he said.
Yeskie went onto pitch professionally before ending up in the college game and at Oregon State.
“It’s great,” said Yeskie about working for Casey. “He asks you to do what he asks of himself.”