Former Logan High School baseball player Z. Minnick is set to debut with Division I Campbell University later this month.
Minnick, last year’s West Virginia State Player of the Year and an ex-Wildcats slugger, is a freshman catcher and pitcher for the Camels.
Campbell, a member of the Big South Conference and located in Buies Creek, N.C.,, is scheduled to open the 2016 season on Feb. 19, hosting Miami (Ohio) at Jim Perry Stadium, in the first of a three-game series.
Minnick batted .565 with six home runs, 24 runs and 39 RBI this past season for Logan. A two-time Class AAA first-team all-state selection, Minnick also sported a 6-2 record and a 0.71 ERA while pitching for the Wildcats.
Logan was ousted last year in the Class AAA sectional tourney, falling in a pair of close 5-3 and 5-4 decisions to Nitro and finishing with a 23-7 record. The Cats were ranked No. 5 in the state at season’s end.
“He’s an outstanding player there’s no doubt about it,” Logan coach Roger Gertz said in an interview. “He played a lot last summer traveling around with a team out of Pennsylvania. He saw a lot of good competition. He’s going to Campbell University and he’s an outstanding catcher and is very versatile.”
Over the last four seasons, the Camels own 163 wins, averaging nearly 41 per year, with eight All-America selections, four Academic All-Americans, nine professional contracts, including a record three MLB Draft picks in 2015, 25 all-conference picks, as well as a 3.02 team GPA.
The Camels were picked to finish sixth this season in the Big South Preseason Poll as voted by the league’s head coaches.
Coastal Carolina was voted the Big South Conference’s preseason favorite. The Chanticleers were followed by Winthrop, Liberty, High Point and Radford. After the Camels, Charleston Southern, Longwood, Presbyterian, Gardner-Webb and UNC Asheville rounded out the poll.
The Camels return 14 letterwinners from the 2015 squad, including 2015 Big South Player of the Year and All-American Cole Hallum. CU also has 17 newcomers on the team.
Campbell graduate Matt Marksberry, a left-handed pitcher, made his Major League debut with the Atlanta Braves on July 30. In the big leagues, Marksberry went 0-3 with a 5.01 ERA out of the bullpen, pitching 23 1/3 innings over 31 appearances with 21 strikeouts. Marksberry did not yield a run in his first five MLB appearances and later went seven consecutive scoreless outings.
Marksberry is the first Camel in Major League Baseball since Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry in 1983. He is the eighth Camel to reach the MLB all-time.
After taking on Miami (Ohio), the Camels have some big games ahead. On Feb. 23, Campbell travels to Duke and then host Minnesota Feb. 26-28 in a three-game set. Duke then comes to play at Campbell on March 2.
Later on, the Camels play two games at Virginia Tech March 8-9.
On April 27, Campbell is set to travel to play at North Carolina in a non-conference clash.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).