Zak excited about 'new energy' at Pittsburgh

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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Zak excited about ‘new energy’ at Pittsburgh

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Cole Zak OF / LHP / Mayfield, OH / 2020

MAYFIELD - A new head coach usually brings plenty of optimism to a program. That helped sell Cole Zak on a future at Pittsburgh.

The Mayfield junior recently committed to the Atlantic Coast Conference school, with the left-handed hitting Zak looking forward to making a big splash under the new regime at Pitt.

“It all started when I got an email from them to come out to a camp,” the 46th-ranked 2020 in Ohio explained. “They had changed head coaches and they said ‘you’ve been identified as someone to follow up with.’ I called and went to a camp in September.

“Coach (Mike) Bell (formerly the associate head coach and pitching coach at Florida State) said to call on Monday and we talked on the phone. They really liked what they saw and said they could see me playing there in a Pitt uniform. He said call the recruiting coordinator (Ty Megahee). I called him on Tuesday and they offered.”

An outfielder as well as a left-handed pitcher, Zak gave Pittsburgh plenty to like about his game.

“Coach Bell really liked my swing and said he also liked how competitive I was,” the 11th-rated junior outfielder in the state said. “He said my swing reminds him of Andrew Benintendi (of the Red Sox).”

Zak had previously visited Ohio State, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech with more interest coming from Ohio University, Kent State, Winthrop, Wright State, Dayton, North Carolina and Michigan State among others. But the offer to go east to school two hours away just had the right feeling for Zak.

“I went to camp and then went again on an unofficial visit to see everything, we loved it,” Zak reflected. “There was so much new energy in the program. It was very exciting. The school is changing colors to go back to retro colors, there are major renovations and plans for new construction for the sports facilities, academic buildings and residence halls. I feel they’re really driven to provide first-class education and winning championships.

“I am truly inspired by coach Bell’s passion and previous successes as a player and coach. I really look forward to his mentoring and playing for Pitt baseball.”

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