Head coach Joe Godri and his staff addressed every position on the field with versatile group
Now in his third season as the Villanova pitching coach and recruiting coordinator, Jim Carone led the Wildcats pitching staff to new heights during the 2010 season. He continued to develop a number of young pitchers into a group capable of contending in the BIG EAST Conference and the staff responded with its best ERA in more than a decade.
The success of the pitchers didn't just come from the underclassmen, however. Two pitchers that found particular success under Carone's guidance were senior Brian Streilein and junior Mike Francisco. In his second season as the ace of the starting rotation, Streilein moved into the top four in school history in three different career categories. Francisco, meanwhile, had a terrific season in his second year as the Villanova closer and saved seven games in eight tries. Both pitchers were selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft following the season as the Wildcats maintained their reputation of a program that perennially produces professional-caliber pitchers.
Carone also ensured that the future remains bright for the Villanova staff. Ten of the 14 pitchers on the roster during the 2010 season were in their freshman or sophomore years of eligibility. The young group included Kevin MacLachlan, who went 4-0 in his rookie collegiate campaign and was named the Philadelphia Big Five Co-Rookie of the Year.
During the 2009 season, Carone helped the pitching staff as a whole reduce its walk rate from a year earlier, and he achieved significant results in particular with the team's younger pitchers.
The 2009 campaign was a good one for Carone in another respect, as well. He had been an assistant coach at Wagner in 2005-06 and one of his former players, Andrew Bailey, was named the American League Rookie of the Year with the Oakland Athletics. In his two seasons at Wagner, Carone worked with the pitchers and helped mentor Bailey along the way to his eventually becoming a sixth-round draft pick of the Athletics.
Prior to joining the Villanova program, Carone spent two seasons as the pitching coach at Rider. In 2008, the Broncs won 29 games and reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 14 years after winning the MAAC Championship as the fourth seed. En route to winning the conference title, the pitching staff allowed fewer than three runs per game in three victories in the conference tournament. Overall, Rider won 49 games during Carone's two years as an assistant coach.
In addition to Carone's assistant coaching stints at Rider and Wagner, he has made stops at New Jersey Tech and Stevens Institute of Technology. He has also been active in coaching summer baseball and has previously served as an assistant coach in both the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) with the Concord Quarry Dogs and the ABC Collegiate Baseball League (ABCCBL) for the Jersey Shore Tides.
Carone was a standout pitcher at Monmouth during his collegiate playing career and was selected the Northeast Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2002. He went 10-3 with a 2.21 ERA over 13 starts that season and pitched seven complete games, including two shutouts. His career totals at Monmouth include 17 victories with a 3.67 ERA in 245 innings pitched.