Slanker Family Tradition Continues At OU
October 26, 2021
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Slanker Family Tradition Continues At OU
CANFIELD - Although there were stumbling blocks along the way in the recruiting process, it all worked out just fine for Ben Slanker.
“It was pretty confusing, but good for me overall,” the Canfield junior explained after making a college commitment to Ohio University. “The downs were when Xavier and Wright State pulled their offers. But I wasn’t too down on myself, I knew more opportunities would come. That’s when OU stepped in and I knew I wanted to be a Bobcat.”
The Mid-American Conference school entered the picture in early September.
“They saw me at the Future Games and reached out a month later,” the sixth-rated 2023 outfielder in Ohio reflected. “We started talking more often and they offered me to come for a visit. I toured the campus, saw the facilities and the baseball field and talked to some players. I loved the coaches. They ended up shooting me an offer and a couple weeks later I accepted.”
Slanker had also considered and visited Youngstown State.
“After the Future Games is when Wright State and Xavier pulled their offers, so YSU was the only one at that time,” Slanker noted. “It all just made me want to work more. I just had to keep going and see what else was out there.”
The 6-0 180-pound left-handed hitting Slanker made an impression on Ohio U.
“They like my swing a lot,” related the 34th-ranked junior in the state. “They do like my arm, but I can definitely work on it a lot more.”
A Slanker going to college in Athens is nothing new.
“My mom, my dad and my sister all went there,” pointed out the top-ranked uncommitted junior outfielder in Ohio at the time of his commitment. “It’s cool to keep the family tradition going.”
An opportunity to be part of the baseball program adds to the excitement.
“When he first started talking to me he’d only been there two weeks,” Slanker said of new OU hitting coach Kirby McGuire. “I really like the coaches and I love the environment there. It’s kind of old-fashioned with a lot of brick roads and brick buildings. I like that scenery.”
Playing for Team Ohio Pro Select was very beneficial in helping a college baseball dream - that according to Slanker began around third grade - become a reality.
“The coaches there helped me out a lot,” Slanker said in reference to Chris Check and Brian Chad with Team Ohio Pro Select. “My high school coach (Gary Knittle) also helped me out in many, many ways with individual stuff like hitting off the tee. PBR showcases, and especially the Future Games, also were very helpful.”
Sport management is the planned major for Slanker, who carries a 3.5 GPA with aspirations to be a big asset to the OU program.
“Once I get there I want to try and be a leader right away,” Slanker related. “I know I’ll be a freshman, but I just want to help the program out in any way I can.”
There is more that Slanker, who turned 17 on Sept. 27, is looking forward to at the university 31/2 hours from his Canfield home.
“I want to have fun the most,” Slanker noted. “I want to make new friends, try to build a bond with the coaches, develop as a player and try to win a lot of games. I’d love to play my freshman year and to win a MAC championship. I’m going to work hard to make that happen.”
As for making a college commitment and continuing the Slanker OU tradition, the Canfield junior is ecstatic.
“It feels amazing to finally make a dream come true,” Slanker concluded. “It really means a lot to me and my family. They love that I’m going to OU and will support me in any way they can along the way.”
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