Virginia State Sports Information
RICHMOND, VA– Despite the off season, VSU’s head baseball coach Merrill Morgan represented the Trojans at the Eastern League Celebrity Home Run Derby at The Diamond on July 9.
The Virginia Baseball Coaches Association (VBCA), in conjunction with the Flying Squirrels made the derby possible as part of the Eastern League All-Star Week. Several local area coaches were selected to be the BP (batting practice) pitcher for numerous local, regional and national celebrities.
After easing his nerves with the first few pitches, Coach Morgan let his excitement for the opportunity and purpose of the event take control.
“The association (VBCA) helps the community any way we can, while we promote our own baseball programs,” said Morgan.
The Celebrity Home Run Derby, which had a series of home run and hitting challenges, played host to numerous All-Star players and special guests to include:
– Six-time All-Star and San Francisco Giants great Will Clark
– 12-year MLB player, manager of the Flying Squirrels and the Western Division All-Stars Willie Harris
– Former Richmond Brave, two-time World Series champion and Eastern Division All-Stars manager Mike Mordecai
– NASCAR driver Elliott Sadler
– Former VCU and NBA star Eric Maynor
– Former Penn State and Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl champion Michael Robinson
– Former UVA and New Orleans Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks
– University of Richmond head men’s basketball coach Chris Mooney
– VCU head men’s basketball coach Mike Rhoades
– Former University of Richmond and NFL running back Tim Hightower
– Former Flying Squirrels standout Mark Minicozzi
– Star of the hit TV show Survivor Jonny Fairplay
– Former VCU basketball star and current Indianapolis Colts tight end Mo Alie-Cox
– 12-year professional soccer player and Virginia Sports Hall of Fame inductee Rob Ukrop
In his 16 seasons with the Trojans, Morgan amassed over 340 victories to include the 21-20 record for the 2019 campaign. He has guided VSU to four CIAA Championships, including three consecutive championships in 2007, 2008, and 2009 and was named CIAA Coach of the Year in 2004, 2006, and 2007.
His dedication to the program is true testament in his participation at the Celebrity Home Run Derby.