Monday, June 16, 2014
Most everybody else is on a summer break.
Former Cane Bay High School ace hurler Zach Wimmer is playing with sharks, the Wilmington Sharks to be exact.
The Wilmington Sharks play baseball in the Coastal Plain League, a summer wood bat league for college players aiming to develop their games as they dream big. Wimmer said he got the invitation to join the team and wasted little time hitting the road for Wilmington.
“It's an awesome opportunity,” said Wimmer, a two-time all-state selection at CBHS and Post 166 standout. “You get the chance to play with some of the best college baseball players in the country. It opens your eyes to how much talent is out there. It's not just about the size of the school. There's a lot of great players in junior college and smaller schools.”
The Sharks are 9-8 this season, tied for third in the CPL East with Wilson and Fayetteville. In all, 14 teams compete in the Coastal Plain, comprised of teams from the Carolinas and Virginia.
Wimmer originally started his college career at The Citadel before transferring to Florence-Darlington Tech. He will return to FDT as a sophomore in the fall. From there, the goal is getting back to Div. I baseball or the professional ranks.
The CPL exposure should help in the endeavor.
“I feel like I'm doing pretty well,” he said. “Coming into the summer, I set goals to get my velocity up and develop some other pitches.”
So far this summer, Wimmer has made seven relief appearances for the Sharks, compiling a 1.98 ERA. He's thrown 13-plus innings with 13 strikeouts and three earned runs. He's walked nine and given up eight hits.
The summer performance is a continuation of his numbers at Florence-Darlington in spring.
As a freshman for the Stingers, Wimmer made 12 appearances, including five starts.
He was 4-0 with a save. He tossed 31 innings and struck out 35 batters. He had a 2.32 ERA, scattering 25 hits and walking 15 batters.
“We finished a little short of where we wanted to be,” Wimmer said. “We had the talent to make some things happen but couldn't put it all together… We're thinking we're going to be a lot better. We're looking to take over Region 10.”
Wimmer expects to be a weekend starter for the Stingers next season.
But for now, he's aiming to help the Wilmington Sharks get into the running for the Petitt Cup in the CPL. Some of his teammates include players from programs such as South Carolina, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Maryland. Former Hanahan standout Ryan Manore, headed for Francis Marion after two years at USC Lancaster, has made three relief pitching appearances for the Sharks.
Wilmington is 9-4 since an 0-4 start.
The Sharks have a 56-game schedule that runs to mid-August. Heading into the 2014 season, nearly 1,200 CPL products have been drafted.
“That's definitely a dream (to go pro),” Wimmer said. “But right now, I'm just working on getting better.”
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