Saint Leo, Fla. (August 14, 2008) - Saint Leo University baseball Coach Russ McNickle has started to assemble the pieces to his winning puzzle as he announced the addition of Justin Pigott to his coaching staff for the 2008-09 season.

Pigott, who will assume the role as the Lions’ pitching coach, comes to Saint Leo by way of Mississippi State University where he was a three-year starting pitcher for the Bulldogs.  The team captain and 2008 graduate appeared in 59 games during his career and finished with an 18-12 career record and a 3.64 earned run average, tossing over 250 innings during his time there.

A left-handed hurler that averaged better than seven innings per start in 2007, Pigott led the Bulldogs in strikeouts with 76 and pitched 113 innings.  His contributions on the mound helped the Bulldogs qualify for the NCAA post season where he was named most outstanding player in the Tallahassee Super Regional, allowing Mississippi State to advance to the 2007 College World Series.

The 2006 season was his career-best as he compiled a 7-1 record and appeared in 19 games where he posted a conference-leading 1.66 ERA. He did not allow a run in his first 20 innings. He had his first post season experience in relief to earn a save over UNC-Asheville and the following day hurled eight innings over Elon College to earn a spot on the Region All-Tournament Team.

“In building my coaching staff, I was looking for character, integrity, work ethic and a person with high morals,” said McNickle.  “Justin has these qualities and I know that our players will benefit from his example, his teaching and his expertise.  He has pitched at the highest level of college baseball and knows what it takes to succeed.  As a student-athlete he was very successful on and off the field.  I am excited for our pitching staff and the opportunity for them to work with him on a daily basis.”

The native of Picayune, Mississippi was also outstanding in the classroom as he was named to the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll all four years.  The 2004 graduate of Picayune Memorial High School was born on December 16, 1984 in Slidell, LA and currently resides in Land O’Lakes.