Fleming Island, FL

Fleming Island High School names new baseball coach

Anthony Salazar

Photo via Toelken's Twitter

The Fleming Island Golden Eagles announced former professional baseball pitcher, Andy Toelken, as the next head coach of the baseball team on their Twitter Wednesday afternoon.

Toelken will replace Grant Bigilin, who spent five seasons with the program. The Fleming Island Athletics’ Twitter page released a statement on Bigilin leaving the program.

“FIHS and FIHS Athletics want to say thank you to coach Grant Bigilin for everything that he has done for FIHS and FIHS baseball. Grant has accepted another position and we wish him nothing but the best moving forward. Coach Bigilin helped take the baseball program to new heights. He helped add a couple more district titles, and a state title appearance in the 2020/2021 baseball season,” said Fleming Island Athletics in a press release.

Toelken is familiar with Fleming Island and the rest of Clay County baseball because he graduated from Clay High School in 2014. Toelken compiled a 12-4 record, and 1.45 ERA on the mound for Clay High while also hitting three home runs and a .360 average in his senior season. Toelken played his final game with Clay High in a 5-2 loss against the Jesuit Tigers in the 2014 5A State Championship. After high school, he signed his letter of intent to play baseball at the next level with St. Johns River State College.

Toelken played for St. Johns River State for his freshman and sophomore seasons. He held an 18-2 record and a 2.00 ERA in his two seasons at St. Johns River State. He earned First Team All-Conference as a sophomore and second-team All-Conference as a Freshman. He also was on the FCSAA All-State Academic Team as a freshman and sophomore, according to Mutigers.com.

Toelken was a sought-after junior college transfer after two seasons with St. Johns River State. Toelken decided to play for the Missouri Tigers, where he became one of the top pitchers in the SEC. Toelken finished his career with Missouri with an 11-6 record with a 3.24 ERA with 127.2 innings pitched, according to Mutigers.com.

Photo via Toelken's Twitter

After college, Toelken was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 19th round of the 2018 MLB Draft, according to Perfect Game. He spent two seasons in the Diamondbacks' minor league system, recording an 8-5 record with a 2.95 ERA and one save in 46 game appearances, starting in four of them.

After his playing career finished, Toelken returned to Clay High as their pitching coach for the 2021 season. Toelken also earned some experience as a college coach, heading back to St. Johns River State as an assistant coach for the 2022 season. Toelken will bring an abundance of baseball knowledge through his path as a former professional player. Toelken will take command of a Fleming Island baseball team who struggled last season with a 9-14 record.

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I am a student at the University of North Florida majoring in communication with a focus on journalism and minoring in sports management.

Green Cove Springs, FL

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