Travis Beazley, former Boston Red Sox minor leaguer and Randolph-Macon assistant coach, recently completed his sixth year (2017) as the VMI pitching coach. Beazley was promoted to the position of Associate Head Coach by head man Jonathan Hadra prior to the 2015 season.
2017's pitching stories were headlined by sophomore Josh Winder, who set school records in single-season innings pitched and strikeouts en route to Second Team All-SoCon honors. Winder, in fact, became the first Keydet to exceed the 100 innings pitched mark in a season, and also earned VMI's first of two 2017 postseason victories with eight shutout innings against The Citadel. The year also saw fifth-year senior Ryan Bennett emerge into a dependable closer, as Bennett, who had entered the year with a career ERA approaching 9.00, went 6-1 with five saves and tied for the ninth-most victories in a year in school history.
In 2016, Beazley tutored a staff that included freshman ace Winder. Winder set a new modern era VMI record for innings pitched in a single game, 10, against Binghamton in March, while also finishing the year by setting a new Keydet record for strikeouts in a postseason game. In addition, Taylor Edens broke the school record for saves and reliever Jack Gomersall fell just one shy of the single-season school record for appearances.
In 2015, Keydet ace pitcher Andrew Woods posted seven victories, tied for the third-most in school history, and did so despite a broken thumb. Closer Taylor Edens not only finished out VMI's second straight win over Virginia - the first time that had happened in 50-plus years - but saved 12 games overall, the second-highest total in school history, and was a Stopper of the Year Midseason Watch List selection.
2014 was a banner year for Beazley's proteges, as two - Reed Garrett (16th round, Texas) and Connor Bach (21st round, Washington) - were selected in the MLB draft. Garrett in particular had a dominant year, finishing out a season that included a Feb. 21 no-hitter against Lafayette with Second Team All-Big South honors. Relievers Berkley Hawkins (a converted infielder) and Edens were also success stories under Beazley, with Hawkins leading the club with four saves and Edens going 3-0 with a 2.81 ERA, including five innings in a win against eventual CWS runner-up UVA on Feb. 25. All told, the VMI pitching staff posted a 3.53 ERA, its lowest since 1970 and a mark that shattered the program's record for the aluminum bat era (3.83), set in 1974.
In 2013, Bach ranked in the Big South's top 10 in opponent batting average (.207) and ERA (2.81) while developing into VMI's Friday starter, while Garrett and T.J. Lighton each earned a Big South Pitcher of the Week nod for a complete game shutout, with Lighton's marking the first time VMI had blanked Virginia Tech since April of 1962.
In 2012, Beazley's staff saw strong efforts from the bullpen, with closer John Garrett saving six of VMI's 16 wins, while setup man Reed Garrett allowed three earned runs over his final 18 games. The pitching squad also saw two players drafted, as junior Coby Cowgill (23rd round, Texas) and senior Adam Lopez (21st round, Chicago White Sox) was tabbed in June's MLB draft.
Beazley joined VMI in August of 2011, after spending a year as an assistant at Randolph-Macon, during which time he worked with the pitchers, infielders and hitters for the 2011 ODAC Champions and NCAA Regional participants. He also oversaw the program's recruiting and strength and conditioning, as well as the squad's academic progress.
Prior to his year as a full-time assistant at RMC, Beazley spent most of three seasons in the Boston Red Sox farm system after being selected in the 38th round of the 2006 MLB Draft. He pitched 370 total innings in his career, and led the Boston minor league system in wins and innings pitched during the 2007 season. While pitching for the Red Sox, he spent his fall seasons as a volunteer coach at RMC, working specifically with the pitchers and infielders.
Beazley graduated from Randolph-Macon in 2006, after a standout collegiate career. His 2006 season earned him a litany of awards, including a Second Team All-American Selection, the ODAC Pitcher of the Year honor and the ABCA/Rawlings Division III South Region Pitcher of the Year award. He was also an ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA First Team All-District All-Academic Selection in 2006, and was a four-year Presidential Scholarship recipient.
Beazley is also a former American Legion Assistant Coach, and has worked camps for VCU, Richmond and Clemson in past years. He is a native of Beaverdam, Va. and a graduate of Patrick Henry High School.