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Burroughs promotes McCullough to full-time, Ammiriati named volunteer
Aug 09, 2014 | 194 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Head coach Lane Burroughs announced two staff changes for the Northwestern State baseball team on Tuesday after he promoted volunteer assistant G.T. MuCullough to a full-time assistant and brought on Nick Ammiriati as the new volunteer.

It's the second time in two years that McCullough was promoted within the staff. In 2013 he was moved to volunteer assistant after serving as the director of operations in 2012, his first season at Northwestern State.

"GT has shown extreme loyalty to me and to Northwestern State. He has earned and deserves this promotion," said Burroughs. "He is a very hard worker and extremely intelligent. The behind the scenes things he did for us the past two years, in addition to his coaching duties, displays his selflessness and energy. He truly has a servant heart"

He will continue to coach first base, and will work with outfielders as well as assist with hitting and recruiting.

"GT has always had an extreme desire to learn and get better every day. He checks his ego at the door and looks to make NSU Baseball better each day," said Burroughs. "He is one of the young and hungry lions in the coaching profession that doesn't believe in clocking in and out.

"He is on the clock 24/7, and his work ethic is off the charts," he said. "I'm excited to see he and Coach (Bobby) Barbier working side-by-side in the office and in recruiting. The future is stable and very bright for Demon baseball."

McCullough was a part of the Demon staff that broke a Southland Conference record for the biggest single-season turnaround with a 14-game improvement and won 33 games in 2014. The staff led NSU to the Southland Conference tournament for the first time since 2010, and posted victories for the first time since 2006.

Ammiriati was a member of the 2013 College World Series run with Mississippi State as the starting catcher. He started in 49 games (51 played) and threw out an astonishing 41-percent of base stealers. He was a big part of the 2.77 earned run average MSU pitchers posted that season.

"I'm so excited that Nick has decided to join the Northwestern State Baseball Family," said Burroughs. "Ammo is a baseball guy through-and-through.

"He has driven all over the country to coach or play. He just loves being at the park and helping others with their craft," he said. "He prepped at one of the finer baseball programs in the country in Seton Hall Prep"

He hit for .246 batting average in his senior season at Mississippi State, including one home run and 23 runs batted in. He had 23 runs scored and three doubles in 167 at-bats.

Ammiriati will work with catchers and assist with the pitching staff. This summer, Ammiriati coached Demons Evan Tidwell and Matthew Alford with the Hoptown Hoppers.

"I watched Ammo fight through some adversity when things did not go his way and persevere to being the everyday catcher on a team that played for a national championship," said Burroughs. "He worked hand in hand with someone I truly admire and respect in Butch Thompson (MSU Associate Head Coach). He learned the importance of pitch calling and grew to be a pitching coach on the field."

The Sparta, N.J., native signed with the played with the St. Paul Saints before signing with the Seattle Mariners organization in 2013. He was drafted in the 46th round by the Florida Marlins out of Seton Hall Prep in 2009.

At Seton he caught now-Major League Baseball pitcher Rick Porcello, who is on the Detroit Tigers staff. Ammiriati elected to attend Panola Junior College and not join the professional ranks in 2009.

"He's a fighter and determined. He took the independent ball route that parlayed into signing with the Seattle Mariners," said Burroughs. "He knows the value of hard work and commitment. He has a bright future in this business."

Both moves complete the staff for the 2014 season after Barbier was hired as the pitching coach in early July. ​
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