Jeremy Zalacca - Director of Athletic Communications
MISENHEIMER, N.C. – After five successful seasons as the head coach of the Pfeiffer baseball team, Dusty Blake has announced his resignation to become the pitching coach at Duke University. Blake joins the staff of Chris Pollard who was the head coach at Pfeiffer from 2000-04.
"We are very sad to lose Dusty," commented VP for Athletics Bob Reasso. "Dusty is an outstanding coach and human being and has done so much for Pfeiffer and our baseball program. At the same time, we're delighted for him. This business is about seeing your people move on and be the best they can be and he has a wonderful opportunity at Duke. We all wish him the best of luck."
Blake led the Falcons to back-to-back Conference Carolinas Tournament championship game appearances in 2015 and 2016. Despite being one of the lowest seeds entering the tournament, Blake's Falcons had a flair for pulling upsets against the nation's best teams. In 2016, the Falcons entered the Conference Carolinas tournament as the last team in the field, earning the number six seed. However, the Falcons defeated top-seed Erskine 4-1 before just coming short of advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
This past year, Pfeiffer once again earned the No. 6 seed but had a bigger upset in mind. On April 27, Pfeiffer defeated Mount Olive who was the nation's No. 1 team by a final score of 9-2. Pfeiffer used an 8-run sixth inning and scored all eight runs off Bruce Zimmermann who would later be drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 5th round of the 2017 MLB Draft.
On Feb. 18, 2016, Blake earned his 100th career victory in Pfeiffer's 8-2 home win over Molloy. In total, Blake won 121 games in his five years and the 29 wins in 2015 were the highest total since Pollard's 2004 team won 41 games.
Blake has been at every level in the Pfeiffer dugout during his career. Blake was a member of the 2004 team that was just inducted into the Pfeiffer Sports Hall of Fame and later became an assistant coach in 2005. On July 30, 2012, Blake was named the program's sixth head coach.
A pitching guru, Blake held countless clinics and camps on the finer aspects of pitching and brought in many Division I or professional coaches to work with. Blake helped Pfeiffer starter Ethan Greene set the program record for most wins in a career with 27 from 2013-16, passing some of the greatest pitchers to ever wear a Pfeiffer uniform.
During his tenure, Blake guided Pfeiffer to five straight Conference Carolinas Tournaments despite playing against some of the toughest competition in all of Division II. The only other programs to accomplish that feat were Division II baseball superpowers, Mount Olive and Erskine.
Prior to coming back to Pfeiffer, Blake spent time as a pitching coach at Catawba, Wofford and USC Upstate.
"I want to thank Pfeiffer University, Coach Reasso and the Pfeiffer baseball program for all of their love and support," said Blake. "The past five-and-a-half years at Pfeiffer have been a great experience for me and my family. My first ever job in college baseball and my first head coaching opportunity were both offered to me by Pfeiffer and it will always hold a special place in my heart. I look forward to following the continued success of the baseball program in years to come."
In addition to coaching, Blake also served as a Senior Associate Athletic Director.