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An All-American at Wright State, Oeder played professional baseball in the St. Louis Cardinals organization
Ross Oeder enters his fourth season on staff at Penn State and his 11th total with head coach Rob Cooper after both playing for him (three seasons) and serving as an assistant coach for him (four seasons) at Wright State. Oeder's primary responsibilities with the Nittany Lions involve working with the hitters and infielders.
Continual improvement has been the trend at the plate for the Nittany Lions under Oeder. Not coincidentally, Penn State won 10 more games in 2016 than the year before and enjoyed its first winning season since 2012.
Oeder’s impact on the program is perhaps best illustrated with the 2016 MLB Draft selection of Jim Haley in the 19th round by the Tampa Bay Rays. The first Nittany Lion to be drafted since 2012, Haley played all three seasons under Oeder and improved each year, setting career highs with a .315 batting average, 45 runs, 69 hits, 12 doubles, 27 RBIs and 18 walks in his final season before going pro.
Additionally last season, Greg Guers became the first Lion hitter to be named to the All-Big Ten team since 2012 after he set career highs in multiple statistical categories, as well. His 20 stolen bases ranked fourth in the league, and he was particularly strong in Big Ten play, ranking sixth overall and second amongst outfielders with a .354 batting average. He earned All-Big Ten Player of the Week and NCBWA National Hitter of the Week honors in mid-April after going 13-for-17 (.765) with eight RBIs, a home run, two doubles and five stolen bases during a four-game stretch.
Haley and Guers were two of four Nittany Lions to bat over .300 in 2016, a feat not accomplished since 2010, the last year before the BBCOR bat rules restricted collegiate bats. Tyler Kendall and Nick Riotto, both platoon players in 2015, were the other two, as they became successful everyday starters. Kendall led the team batting .320, while Riotto led with a .405 on-base percentage.
Oeder was tasked with getting freshmen up to speed quickly in 2016 too, as four lineup spots were primarily occupied with rookies, in addition to All-Big Ten Freshman selection Willie Burger. Burger was a unanimous selection to the all-freshman team at first base despite being limited to 39 games due to injury. Burger was second on the team with 34 RBIs and led Penn State with 10 multiple RBI games. He was named the Big Ten Player of the Week once – a first for a Penn Stater since 2012 - and the Big Ten Freshman of the Week twice.
Oeder worked with an experienced group in 2015 and saw dramatic improvement at the plate from the previous two seasons despite a significantly more difficult schedule.
BBCOR bat era (2011-present) highs for Penn State in 2015 included batting average, runs per game and hits per game, while the team’s home run total was more than the previous two seasons combined. The 220 percent increase in homers from the 2014 season dramatically outpaced the national average of 44 percent credited to lowered seams on the game ball. In total, the Lions slugged 44 more extra base hits and scored 64 more runs year-over-year despite playing two less games. The team’s 67 stolen bases were the most since 2005, while doubles per game and RBIs per game figures ranked as the highest for the squad in four seasons.
The Lions also saw defensive improvements, as led by Oeder’s infield, the Lions turned the fourth most double plays per game in the nation. The team also posted its best fielding percentage since 2012.
Prior to arriving at Penn State, Oeder spent four seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater after spending two seasons playing professionally in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. The infielder was an All-American standout at WSU, along with being named the first Horizon League Player of the Year in school history during the 2007, and held a career on-base percentage of .300 during his two seasons in the minor leagues.
Upon joining the staff, Oeder and the Raiders continued to see success on the field with the team advancing to the 2011 NCAA Tournament and winning the regular-season Horizon League titles in 2010 and 2011. Oeder instructed the 2011 Horizon Player of the Year and three 2011 first team All-Horizon League players.
One of the most decorated players in Wright State history, Oeder was drafted in the 28th round by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2008 MLB First Year Player Draft and spent his first season with the Batavia Muckdogs of the New York-Penn League. That season, he collected 40 hits, drove in eight runs and scored 18 times in 48 games played. The next season, while playing with the Class A Quad City River Bandits, Oeder played in 32 games with 20 hits, 12 runs scored and five home runs. That season he walked eight times, drove in 15 RBIs, while smacking two home runs in a game on July 17.
While at Wright State, Oeder became the first WSU player since 1993 to earn All-America honors and was the first Raider to earn the Horizon League Player of the Year Award during his senior season. The Sandusky, Ohio, native was a second team All-American selection in 2007, to go along with first team All-Horizon League honors.
Oeder is one of only five players in Wright State history to end a season with a batting average of .400, clipping a .408 during his senior year. He is among the career leaders in batting average, on-base percentage, games played, games started, runs scored, hits, doubles, total bases and hit-by-pitch. He sits atop the hit-by-pitch list and owned a .446 on-base percentage in 219 games played during his career. He was a second team All-Horizon League selection as a rookie, garnered Horizon League Tournament MVP honors while leading the Green and Gold to the 2006 Horizon League Tournament Championship and was selected to the first team All-Horizon League squad after leading the league in five offensive categories.
Oeder earned his bachelors of arts in organizational leadership from Wright State in 2008 and a masters in leadership development in 2012. He is married to his wife, Christa Oeder.