VINCENT - Danny Pannell is expected to toe the rubber when Warren plays Harrison Central in a regional semifinal baseball game at Gant Municipal Stadium in Zanesville at 2 p.m. Thursday.
As the ace of the Mark Farr-coached Warriors' pitching staff this spring, the 6-foot-1 senior right-hander owns an 8-2 record with a 1.86 ERA. In 56-1/3 innings of work on the mound, he has 50 strikeouts and 33 bases on balls.
If the walks appear a little on the high side, Pannell actually had about the same number last season in 20 less innings of pitching. So, he's definitely worked hard to improve his control.
Photo courtesy of Steve Bowen
Warren right-hander Danny Pannell will be pitching for Muskingum University next season.
And, that'll be a plus when he throws for Muskingum University next spring.
"I didn't want to go to college too close to home, but I didn't want to go too far away, either," Pannell said. "Muskingum is only about an hour and a half from home. So, my parents and sisters will still be able to see me play."
Muskingum is an NCAA Division III school in New Concord and a member of the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC), which also includes perennial baseball powerhouse Marietta College.
The Fighting Muskies, 9-29 overall and 5-13 in the OAC this past season, are coached by Gregg Thompson.
"I liked the coaches a lot," Pannell said. "And, I believe I can step right in there and help them."
Pannell is undecided as to what his major will be at Muskingum, but is leaning towards toward either health and fitness, or becoming a history teacher. Someday, he thinks he'd like to coach baseball at the collegiate level.
At Warren, where Pannell received his diploma at Marietta College last Friday, he graduated with a 3.0 GPA.
An all-around prep athlete, Pannell was also a basketball letterwinner, who played on the Blane Maddox-coached Warrior team that advanced to the Final 4 in Columbus in March.
During regular-season play on Feb. 15, Pannell scored a game-high 14 points in Warren's 68-22 rout of Jackson.
But, baseball, of course, is the sport that Pannell excels in, and has ever since he was a youth.
When he was 12-years-old in the fall leagues, Pannell competed at Hank Greenburg Field in south Parkersburg, and was honored as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) as a sophomore.
During the summers of his sophomore and junior years, Pannell played American Legion ball in Belpre at Civitan Park.
Last summer, Pannell opted to compete on a national traveling team. Going west, he attended a DeMarini baseball camp at Pepperdine University in Calif., and was picked up by MVP Baseball for a national traveling team, which is based in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Pannell's coach was Oakland A's scout Bill Bowman, a former Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals player. Also providing guidance were Jeff Holly, a former left-handed pitcher drafted out of high school by the Chicago White Sox, and Harry Grumet, with 20-plus years of coaching 18U AAU and national teams.
With MVP Baseball, Pannell played in the Arizona Junior Fall Classic in Peoria, Ariz., the MVP Pro-Training Camp at Huntington Beach, Calif., the Phil Singer National Tournament in San Diego, Calif., and the Perfect Game National Tournament in Phoenix, Ariz.
As a senior in the fall of 2013, Pannell was in the Perfect Game WWBA 18U National Championship in Marietta, Ga, the Jeff Holly Pro-Training Camp in Orange County, Calif., and the Phil Singer National Tournament in San Diego, Calif.
Pannell was ranked on the mvpbaseball.net website as 14th in the nation as a pitcher as a junior.
This summer, Pannell is planning to work out with Joe Leaman at Mountain River's Athletic Performance Center in Parkersburg. He did treadmill training with him last year prior to the basketball campaign to increase his speed and agility. This summer, he'll be working on his core strength.
As a prep baseball player at Warren, Pannell got varsity experience on the hill as a freshman and beat Alexander. When he was a junior, he fanned 10 and tossed a one-hit shutout against Portsmouth.
This past spring, Pannell hurled a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts in a blanking of Logan.
Recently, he was honored as a first team All-District selection and first team All-Southeastern Ohio Athletic League (SEOAL) pick. He's also a first alternate for the Muzunio game.
Pannell is the son of Frank and Robin Pannell. He has two older sisters - Kelly and Ashley.