Since the calendar has moved over to February baseball season is just around the corner.
Soon, Major League baseball teams will be having pitchers and catchers report to spring training camps in Florida and Arizona.
College baseball teams will be beginning seasons soon and in March, high school baseball teams will be back on the field.
Spring is just around the corner.
Down in North Carolina, Logan High School graduate Zach Minnick is set to begin his second season of Division I baseball at Campbell University, a Big South Conference school, located in Buies Creek, N.C.
Last year as a freshman, Minnick broke into the Division I college baseball scene at Campbell and saw action in 45 games — making 27 starts at catcher, 16 as a designated hitter and also having nine appearances on the mound as a pitcher.
Minnick hit .235 last year for the Camels with one home run and 26 RBIs. He also scored 13 runs and smacked out 10 doubles.
Minnick recorded nine multi-hit and seven multi-RBI games and tallied a team-best 16-game hitting streak, posting 23 hits over a the span, hitting .371 with four doubles, a home run and 15 RBIs.
He drove in the winning run in a 2-1, bottom-of-the-ninth win over Liberty to clinch the Big South series.
Minnick had other season highlights as well as he was 3-for-4 with two RBI and a double in a game against Canisius.
He also drove in six runs in a series against North Carolina A&T.
As a pitcher, Minnick was 0-1 with a 4.64 ERA in 21.1 innings of work. He allowed just one run over his first five mound appearances in an 11-inning worksheet. He struck out a season-high four against Rider and Appalachian State.
Minnick had a stellar prep career at Logan and was the 2015 Gatorade West Virginia Player of the Year as a senior.
He had a career .465 batting average at Logan with 22 home runs, 15 triples and 136 RBI and also posted a career 22-5 record as a pitcher with a 1.73 ERA, including 229 strikeouts in 170 innings.
Minnick, the son of Albert and Johnnie Minnick, was a Class AAA First-Team All-State selection three times for the Wildcats.
Campbell expects to have a good season this spring.
The Camels have been picked second in the 2017 Big South Preseason Baseball Poll.
The Camels picked up two first place votes, coming in just shy of preseason favorite High Point, which collected four first place tallies. Liberty (2), Longwood (1) and Gardner-Webb (1) also gathered first place nods, taking third, fifth and sixth in the poll, respectively.
Winthrop was voted fourth, while Radford, Presbyterian, Charleston Southern and UNC Asheville rounded out the voting.
Points were based on a weighted system, with first-place votes receiving 10 points, followed by nine points for second-place, and so on.
Gardner-Webb’s Collin Thacker was name the Big South Preseason Player of the Year, while Winthrop lefty Matt Crohan was tabbed Preseason Pitcher of the Year.
Last year, the Camels finished 26-27 overall and 13-11 in Big South play, just one game out of second place. Campbell returns five starting position players, including 2015 All-America pick and Big South Player of the Year Cole Hallum, as well as one starting weekend arm.
Since 2012, the Camels own three 40-win seasons, 189 total wins, eight All-America selections, five Academic All-Americans, 10 professional contracts, two Major League Baseball players and 28 all-conference picks.
Campbell is scheduled to begin the 2017 season on Feb. 17, hosting Northern Kentucky.
The Camels will also be playing some big name schools in their non-conference schedule.
March 3-5, Campbell is scheduled to host the Ohio State Buckeyes in a three-game home series against the Big Ten Conference school.
On March 17, the Camels are matched up against another Big Ten team, the Michigan State Spartans, in a tournament at Richmond, Va. Campbell also faces North Carolia State of the ACC on March 21 in the state tourney.
Later, on March 28, Campbell is slated to travel to play at Virginia Tech.
On April 12, the Camels host Duke and then on April 26 Campbell is scheduled to play at North Carolina against the Tar Heels.
Campbell hosts Virginia Tech on May 2 and plays at Duke on May 9.
The post-season Big South Conference Championships are scheduled for May 23-27 at Lexington, S.C.
Minnick also saw some action back in the fall in the Camels’ fall league, hitting .380 with one homer and 15 RBI.
Minnick is expected to handle most of the Camels’ catching duties this season.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).