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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Coming Up Aces

Wes Carroll provides a steady hand for UE baseball

Editor’s Note: This is an extended version of the Q&A with Wes Carroll that appears in the May/June 2024 issue of Evansville Living.

University of Evansville head baseball coach Wes Carroll’s name is synonymous with success on the field and in the dugout.

Named to the Missouri Valley Conference’s All-Centennial Team in 2007 as one of its top players, Carroll also is a two-time MVC Coach of the Year. Under his tutelage, pitcher Kyle Freeland was the Colorado Rockies’ first-round draft choice in 2014, marking UE’s highest draft selection since Andy Benes was chosen No. 1 overall by the San Diego Padres in 1988.

A Castle High School and UE graduate, Carroll is the second-winningest baseball coach in UE history behind Jim Brownlee. He speaks with Evansville Living ahead of the Aces hosting the 2024 MVC tournament May 21-25 at UE’s Braun Stadium.

Evansville Living: Discuss the poignancy of hosting the MVC tournament at Braun Stadium.
Wes Carroll: It has taken many years and a lot of hard work by many to get our facilities up to the MVC Tournament hosting standard. I’m extremely proud of the efforts here at UE to see and understand my vision followed up by actions.

EL: What do you expect to learn from hosting the tournament?
WC: We expect to learn a tremendous amount from this event, as we would like to be a future host. A tremendous amount of planning has been going into this great event. We will see an enormous impact on the local economy, and our community will have an opportunity to experience college baseball at a high level. The Evansville Regional Sports Commission and Brandon McClish have been instrumental on many levels. His leadership and knowledge is such an asset to the city of Evansville.

EL: Coming from your family’s perspective, why does baseball have such staying power with sports fans?
WC: Baseball is our national pastime and always will be. It makes such an impact on people because it mirrors life and the adversities we all go through. A special sport that individual performances are showcased within a team effort. It’s also a sport that all shapes and sizes of athletes can participate.

EL: What do you attribute your longevity to at UE?
WC: I’ve had tremendous support throughout my years within the athletic department. I’ve also been very fortunate to have talented assistant coaches that believed in my vision and care deeply about the student-athletes. But most importantly, I’ve had outstanding student-athletes that bleed purple and wear the Aces script across their chest with pride. Those are the ultimate keys to my longevity here at UE.

Missouri Valley Conference Baseball Tournament
May 21-25, Charles H. Braun Stadium off Walnut Street, University of Evansville gopurpleaces.com
Eight teams will take German American Field in the league finale at Braun Stadium, UE’s state-of-the-art 1,200-seat stadium that opened in 2020.

Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti joined Tucker Publishing Group in September 2022 as a staff writer. She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2020 with a bachelors degree in English. A Connecticut native, Maggie has ridden horses for 15 years and has hunt seat competition experience on the East Coast.

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