By Steve Yablonski
For the past 11 years, Scott Landers has been Oswego State baseball’s head coach and strength and conditioning coordinator. He is looking to continue the Lakers’ winning ways in the upcoming season.
The Windsor (Broome County) native joined the Laker staff after serving as the assistant coach at Le Moyne College for nine seasons.
“The last eight years have been pretty good,” he said.
The Oswego State baseball team’s season ended in May 2022 after a second loss in the Super Regional round against the Marietta Pioneers. The Lakers wound up the season with a record of 33-13.
In July, the American Baseball Coaches Association and ATEC named Landers as the Region 3 co-coach of the year for the 2022 season.
“Last season was a good year — but I’d say we have had to reload offensively. Our goals every year are basically the same, get to the post season and win a national championship. I think we’ve been in that position probably since 2017,” he said. “We’ve had the ability to win a national championship, if things go our way. We were in the world series in ’17, in the world series in ’18. We had to reload in ’19 and made the regional. 2020 was a COVID year. In ’21, I thought we were good enough to do it and we just had an unlucky break in the super regional against the team that went to the world series. This past year, I thought we were good enough offensively but we ran into, in the super regional, what I thought was the best, the best team in the country in Marietta. So we didn’t catch a break.”
They had 38 players this past year.
“We have probably around 20 position players and 18 pitchers,” Landers explained. “Everybody gets playing time, if they’re good enough,” he quipped. “It’s not Little League anymore. The stats usually sort out things.”
“They’re puzzle pieces [when it comes to managing]. The guys play it out, the stats play it out – it gives you a good sense of what moves to make. It becomes a little easier,” he added.
All of the players have two years extra eligibility due to COVID-19.
“The years right now are really screwed up,” Landers said.
They are allowed 40 games a season.
“We’ll start the fall in early September and we’ll start practice for spring usually that last week of January,” he explained.
Recruiting is a never-ending process.
“We’re looking for some more offense right now while also replenishing our pitching for the future,” he said. “I’ll be back [on campus] before we start our season, probably August 13. We will have our meeting August 15.”
“I’m from Windsor and went to Cortland. When I was done playing at Cortland, I coached there for two years. And then, one season as the head coach at Broome Community College,” he said.
At Cortland, Landers helped guide the Red Dragons to two league titles (2000 and 2002) with unblemished 12-0 marks, overall records of 36-9 and 31-11, one regional title and one Division III World Series berth.
At BCC, Landers guided the Hornets to a 22-19 mark and a New York State Regional berth.
He continued his coaching career at Le Moyne.
With the Dolphins, Landers’ primary responsibilities were working with hitters and pitchers, but he also served as the recruiting coordinator and the infield and outfield coach. During his tenure at Le Moyne, five Le Moyne pitchers signed professional baseball contracts. In that same time, four position players were selected in the MLB draft.
Overall, Landers has coached nearly two dozen players that have gone on to play some level of professional baseball.