Ben Barnas has had a lot of success on the baseball diamond for the Marietta Tigers the last two years, specifically on the pitcher's mound.
He is hoping that success carries over into his collegiate career as he will be pitching for the College of Wooster.
The Fighting Scots, an NCAA Division III school, are guided by head coach Tim Pettorini and compete in the North Coast Athletic Conference.
Times file photo
Marietta’s Ben Barnas winds up to throw a pitch during a baseball game at Legion Field this season. Barnas will pitch collegiately at Wooster.
"My first visit I went with my parents and just fell in love with the campus," Barnas said.
As far as the baseball team, Barnas believes he will fit right in.
"The team feels like family to me. It's not like I'm going to a place with a bunch of strangers. It feels like I've already got family there waiting on me."
Barnas put together an impressive resume in high school, earning first team All-Southeast District as a junior and first team All-East Central Ohio League as a senior, as well as academic All-Ohio.
This spring, he notched four victories on the hill, struck out 46 batters in 54 innings and posted a solid 2.85 earned run average.
Throughout his high school career, Barnas has gone through stretches of pure dominance.
He went on a 30-inning stretch as a junior where he allowed just three runs, seven hits and struck out 32 batters.
During that run, Barnas tossed a one-hitter against New Philadelphia. The first batter of the game blooped a single to right field. Barnas picked that player off at first and went on to retire the next 20 batters to face the minimum.
"He is a young man with a live arm," said Marietta skipper Jim Thrash. "He'll continue to add miles per hour to his fastball as he goes through workouts and matures physically. He has an awful lot of velocity. He loves baseball and will learn a lot."
Barnas agreed and added "The biggest key for me will be filling out my body. I'm a long, lanky kid. Since Sunday, I've been working out and hitting the weight room pretty hard. I've got some pitching-specific workouts from major league coaches that I follow."
It will also be important to continue building velocity and improving command, he said.
Barnas credited his coaching staff for the opportunity to play at the collegiate level. He was apart of the Tiger squad that helped coach Larry Burke earn his 300th coaching victory with the orange and black.
"Coach Thrash and coach Burke are just very good baseball minds," Barnas said. "I always say that I could talk to coach Burke about baseball for hours."
Barnas also considered Muskingum, John Carroll and Marietta College briefly but decided Wooster was the best choice.
Wooster and Marietta squared off against each other twice in 2013 and Barnas is hopeful he'll get the chance to play against the team he watched as a kid.
"I grew up watching Marietta College winning World Series championships, regional championships and OAC championships," he said. "I'm hoping I can get a taste of that at Wooster."
If Barnas can represent Wooster the way he has Marietta, the Fighting Scots have a lot to look forward to.
"I'll always be proud to have been a Marietta Tiger," he said.
"I'm looking forward to going to Wooster."