Pitching coach Damian Stambersky is in his sixth season as an assistant coach with the Mules in 2020.
Stambersky's pitchers have finished in the top-2 in team-ERA in the MIAA all five years at UCM. The 2019 staff ERA of 3.86 is the second-lowest under Coach Stambersky. Opponents hit just .227 off Mule pitching, which also led the MIAA and they struck out an MIAA best 562 batters. Three Mule pitchers were named to the All-MIAA team. Closer Jonathan Sprinkle made the First Team with starter Mason Green on the Second Team and Ben Kelsch Honorable Mention. Sprinkle struck out 14.95 batters per nine innings and locked down 10 saves. He was also a First Team All-Region pick. Green made the ABCA Second Team All-Region with a 9-0 record and 2.88 ERA. He struck out 95 batters in 75 innings, 11.40 batters per nine innings, top among Mule starters. Ben Kelsch entered the all-time top-10 in innings pitched and appearances. In 10 NCAA postseason games, the Mules put up a 2.70 ERA as UCM finished third at the NCAA Division II National Championship, their highest finish with Coach Stambersky.
In 2018, not only did they led the conference with a 4.20 staff ERA. They also led the team in WHIP, hits allowed per nine innings and were second in walks allowed per nine innings. Stambersky coached a pair of All-MIAA pitchers in starter Luke Lucas and reliever Luke Mercer. Mercer finished the season third in the MIAA with nine saves. The Mules went 4-0 to win the MIAA Tournament, during which the allowed just six runs in 35 innings, including getting the eighth no-hitter in team history, started by Brandon Reid. Central Missouri went on to their second NCAA Regional with Stambersky in the dugout and finished the year 39-17.
The Mules in 2017 were second in the MIAA in pitching with a staff ERA of 4.07, while two players, Zach Girrens and Steven D'Amico, ranked in the top 100 in the nation in individual earned run average. Girrens also ranked 14th in NCAA-II in hits allowed per nine innings. Three pitchers earned All-MIAA honors with Girrens being named to the First Team, D'Amico was a Second Team honoree and reliever Tayler Ross earned Honorable Mention honors.
In 2016, the Mules led the MIAA in pitching with a staff ERA of 3.74, almost a full run lower than the second place team. That also ranked top 25 in the country. The pitching staff was also tops in the MIAA and second in the nation with nine shutouts. Five of his pitchers earned All-MIAA honors, including Grant Gavin and Ethan Westphal on the First Team. Both of those players would go on to earn multiple All-Region honors as well. Four of his pitchers went on to the professional ranks following the season. Gavin was drafted in the 29th round by the Kansas City Royals, and Lucas Williams was selected in round No. 40 by the Houston Astros. Westphal signed a free agent contract with the Colorado Rockies and Tyler House signed with the Tampa Bay Rays.
During his first season in Warrensburg, the Mules were second in the MIAA in ERA with a staff earned run average of 4.26. The group was also second in the conference in strikeouts with 367. One of his pitchers ranked in the top 50 in NCAA Division II in saves and four pitchers earned All-Conference honors with Carlos D’Armas earning third team accolades.
Stambersky came to UCM in 2015 after spending the previous 11 seasons at Kansas City Kansas Community College.
Stambersky was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the past 11 seasons for the Blue Devils, while also serving as an adjunct instructor in the social sciences department.
During his time at KCKCC, nine players went on to play NCAA Division I baseball and four players went on to play professionally.
Before Kansas City Kansas CC, Stambersky spent four seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, helping them to a school record 33 wins in 2000. The Trojans compiled 108 wins during his four years with the program. He also spent one season as the head coach of the Kenai Peninsula Oilers in the Alaska Summer Baseball League.
Stambersky started his college career at KCKCC. A designated hitter his freshman year, he caught all but 14 innings as a sophomore and earned First Team All-Jayhawk Conference honors. He then moved on to the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, where he was a two-year starter and a team captain behind the plate. He earned honorable mention All-Sun Belt Conference honors as a senior.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship from UALR in 2000 and a master’s degree in Exercise Science from California University of Pennsylvania in 2007.
He and his wife Valerie have a son Taylor, and a daughter, Tyler Rose.
Alex Backhaus is now in his third year with the Mules Baseball after spending two years at Lindenwood University.
Backhaus works primarily with the position players and in his first year, had seven named to the All-MIAA team. The Mules went 39-17 for the season, going 2-2 at the NCAA Central Region Championship and won the MIAA Tournament after finishing third in the regular season. The Mules also had four All-American and All-Region selections in Backhaus's first year and two were named Academic All-Americans.
Backhaus helped the Mules to their best finish since 2005, placing third at the NCAA Division II National Championship. The Mules were 46-16 and earned 11 All-MIAA awards, eight from position players. Outfielders Erik Webb and Mason Janvrin were named All-Americans with Janvrin being drafted by the Baltimore Orioles.
He helped coached honorable mention All-American Nathan Prindle, as well as first-team All-MIAA Wes Degener and three other honorable mention All-MIAA hitters. Lindenwood had its top baseball season in school history in 2017. The Lions finished the regular season by winning 15 of 17 games, and they finished third in the conference regular season standings. Lindenwood then won the MIAA Tournament, and the NCAA Division II Central Regional Championship. The Lions finished fifth at the NCAA Division II World Series.
Prior to coming to Lindenwood, Backhaus was an assistant coach at Kansas City Kansas Community College, where he assisted with catchers, hitters, and runners. He helped the team win 33 games and advance to the Region VI Sub-Regional.
Backhaus spent two seasons prior to that as a graduate assistant coach at Ottawa University. Among the players he coached was Aaron Marshall, a first-team All-KCAC and honorable mention NAIA All-American.
Backhaus played baseball at William Jewell College. The Cardinals participated in the NAIA Regional Tournament his first three seasons before the program entered its transition season to the NCAA Division II level in his senior year. Backhaus was also a recipient of the R.E. “Dad” Bowles Scholarship Award. The scholarship is given to the male athlete that exemplifies outstanding qualities of sportsmanship, perseverance, and dedication to a sport
Backhaus graduated from William Jewell in 2012 with a degree in Physical Education, and earned his master’s in Education Intervention from Ottawa in 2014. Alex and his wife Jaimie were married in 2015 and they have a dog named Elphie.
Graduate Assistant Coach
Ty White joined the Mules coaching staff in the fall of 2018 as a graduate assistant and will be working his second season in 2020. As a member of the staff he will oversee the outfielders as well as help with base running, recruiting, the Mule offense and other duties as assigned. In his first season, White helped outfielders Mason Janvrin and Erik Webb to 100 hit seasons and All-American honors. Janvrin was also drafted by the Baltimore Orioles with the first pick of the 14th round.
Coach Ty White earned his Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with emphasis areas in business, exercise science and physical education. He was also a member of the baseball program at both Arkansas State and Crowder College where he played in 237 games. As a freshman at Crowder, White hit .381 and won the most promising freshman award. In his sophomore season, he hit for a .356 clip, was named team MVP and broke both the school and the NJCAA DI single-season triples record with 15. In White’s two years at Crowder they reached their first ever #1 National ranking (2013), won a Region 16 Championship (2014), and went 92-30 overall.
In two seasons at Arkansas State, White hit .300 and .318 as the primary leadoff hitter and right fielder. While at ASU, he was given the first ever Ed Way Heart & Hustle Award as well as earning SBC player of the week and all-tournament team honors his senior season. In the conference tournament, White tied the record for most triples in a single game (2) and overall triples in the tournament (3).
After graduation, he joined the coaching staff at Benedictine College alongside Anthony Everman and Adam Hilker as a graduate assistant. Here, White oversaw base running, outfielders, strength and conditioning, helped with offense and coached first base. The Ravens posted a 35-22 record, which was the best since 2006.
White then went on to join coaches Jud Kindle and Nick Petree on the State Fair Roadrunner staff for the 2017-2018 season. Here he was in charge of base running and outfielders as well as the strength and conditioning program. His other duties included helping with the offense, recruiting and coaching first base. The Roadrunners finished the year 33-24, winning their sub-regional and finishing third in the Region 16 tournament.
White is currently working towards his Masters of Kinesiology with an emphasis in sports management.
Graduate Assistant Coach