Baldwin Wallace’s run to the Division III College World Series was a bit unexpected for Olmsted Falls graduate Zach Ferster, a junior outfielder/utility player for the Yellow Jackets.
The pleasant surprise has Ferster wanting to do it again.
“It was kind of surreal,” he said. “It was great just taking everything in and we’re hoping to get back.”
After losing out on the Ohio Athletic Conference’s automatic bid to John Carroll, Baldwin Wallace got new life with an at-large bid to the Division III Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament.
The Yellow Jackets did not waste their opportunity.
Baldwin Wallace won five straight postseason games, the first four giving it a regional title and a ticket to the World Series. The Yellow Jackets advanced with a 5-4 win over Emory on May 23, then lost to St. Thomas 5-4 on May 25 and were eliminated by Southern Maine with an 11-5 loss the next day.
“It was kind of unexpected because in the OAC Tournament we lost in the championship game,” Ferster said. “We thought we may get a shot to get in, but we really didn’t know.”
Ferster appeared in 38 games, scoring 26 runs with seven RBIs and 12 stolen bases while hitting .273. During the postseason he was used as a pinch hitter and runner. In the OAC and NCAA tournaments, he went 1-for-6 with three runs scored.
“At the end of the day it wasn’t about me, just being able to help the team was good enough for me,” Ferster said.
His hit came in Baldwin Wallace’s final game of the season against Southern Maine. Ferster came to bat with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and drilled an 0-2 pitch to the warning track for a double. He then scored on a throwing error after stealing third base.
It was the Yellow Jackets’ final run of the season.
“I was hoping Mark (Zimmerman) and Kyle (Chontos) would get on so I could just bunt them over,” Ferster said. “But with two outs I just wanted to put a good swing on it and put the ball in play.”
Baldwin Wallace (30-20) quickly proved it belonged in the field with an 8-4 win over regional host Misericordia. Not only that, but Cougars sophomore Ryan Dorosh was undefeated over his previous 14 starts — not even a no-decision.
He still struck out nine in six innings, but he gave up 13 hits and eight runs — all earned. The Yellow Jackets struck early with three in the first, two in the second and one in the fourth before chasing him from the game after scoring twice more in the sixth.
The big start helped propel the Yellow Jackets through the regional.
“We started to really put things together in the OAC Tournament and the regional,” Ferster said. “I don’t think any of the teams expected us to be as good as we were, but we showed them that we could be one of the better teams in the nation.”
Ferster said he wants to become more consistent at the plate. And being a senior next year, he wants to take what he learned from the seniors this year so he can lead the way they did.
He’s pursuing a double major in political science and international studies, with an eye toward federal law enforcement and graduate school. The junior interned with the Department of Homeland Security at Immigration and Customs.
Contact Chris Sweeney at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.