EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon head baseball coach Mark Wasikowski announced Wednesday the addition of former Major League player Blake Hawksworth as Oregon’s new pitching coach.
Hawksworth comes to Oregon after spending the last 20-plus years playing and working in a variety of roles in both professional and college baseball. A former big leaguer, Major League Baseball agent and collegiate pitching coach who helped lead his team to the College World Series, Hawksworth joins Wasikowski’s staff after stints at Cal State Fullerton, Grand Canyon and UC Irvine.
“Blake is the total package in terms of what we were looking for in a pitching coach,” Wasikowski said. “He has Northwest roots which will be a huge advantage in recruiting with the connections he has established. His professional baseball experience, playing in the majors for both the Dodgers and Cardinals, will be invaluable for our program, as will his track record as a collegiate pitching coach who helped lead his team to the College World Series. His approach in player development leans heavily on technology and modern pitching training methods.”
“His experience off the field is equally as impressive,” Wasikowski added. “His knowledge as an agent in the Scott Boras agency will benefit our players immensely.”
After spending 10 years playing professional baseball and later working as an agent in the Boras Corporation, where he actively recruited top MLB and amateur prospects and signed the first overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, Hawksworth landed his first collegiate job as the pitching coach at Cal State Fullerton in 2017 and immediately helped lead the Titans to the College World Series.
The Titans’ pitching staff posted a 3.64 team ERA that ranked 29th in the nation and was noted for its control, ranking among the nation’s best in strikeout-to-walk ratio (17th, 2.94), WHIP (19th, 1.25) and walks per nine innings (6th, 2.55). Cal State Fullerton finished 39-24, a record that included regional and super regionals wins and a trip to Omaha.
Hawksworth also spent a year as the pitching coach at Grand Canyon during the 2020 season. In 18 games, Hawksworth oversaw a pitching staff that posted a 3.44 ERA, the best by a Lopes team since 1982 (3.07). GCU ranked 22nd nationally with a 2.91 strikeout-to-walk ratio, led by Pierson Ohl’s No. 3 mark nationally of 0.32.
As a right-handed pitcher, Hawksworth was drafted in the 28th round of the 2001 MLB Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. He spent his first seven professional seasons rising through the organization as a minor leaguer, earning the billing as the organization’s No. 1 prospect in 2004.
In his eighth season in the organization, Hawksworth made his big-league debut on June 6, 2009. He made 30 appearances spanning 40 innings during his rookie season, going 4-0 with a 2.03 ERA. He made a one-inning relief appearances in the 2009 NLDS. Hawksworth spent the 2010 season with the Cardinals going 4-8 with a 4.98 ERA over 40 games and 90.1 innings.
After an offseason trade following the 2010 season, Hawksworth spent his final pro season as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He made a career-high 29 appearances including 12 starts, posting a 2-5 record with a 4.08 ERA. After dealing with injuries, Hawksworth officially retired from baseball in 2014.
In between his draft selection in 2001 and pro debut in 2002, Hawksworth played one season at Bellevue (Wash.) Community College as a draft-and follow selection. He left no doubt to his professional abilities by going 8-0 with a 0.18 ERA while earning recognition as both the Bellevue College Most Valuable Player and the NWAAC’s Most Valuable Player.
A native of Vancouver, B.C., Hawksworth attended Eastlake High School in Sammamish, Wash. He and his wife Amie have a daughter, Madison, and two sons, Jaxon and Luke.