published Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Zach Thompson set to play for Tennessee Tech

Zach Thompson has become the second Ooltewah High School baseball player to commit to Tennessee Tech for next year, joining center fielder Drew Toth.

Thompson, who throws a fastball in the mid- to upper-80s, has a 3-0 record.

"His ERA is 4.14 but you take out the one bad game he had and his ERA is 1.30," Ooltewah coach Brian Hitchcox said.

"That game I had some personal stuff on my mind, I guess, but I've been concentrating more since," the right-hander said.

In 23 2/3 innings, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Thompson has struck out 39 while issuing just eight walks.

"I didn't visit anywhere else although I had some interest from Lee [University], Carson-Newman and Samford. Tennessee Tech had a great atmosphere and felt like home. I could see myself there in the future," Thompson said.

"It's a good fit," Hitchcox said. "He wants to be an engineer and he really seems to like the school and the coaching staff."

Thompson is the third current Owl to make a college commitment. The other is middle infielder Cody Rhinehart, who's headed to Bryan College.

At Tennessee Tech, Thompson will be reunited with former Ooltewah pitcher Garrett Baugh, who was a senior in Thompson's freshman year. Baugh has a 2-2 record with a 4.05 ERA for the Golden Eagles this season.

Also in Cookeville and leading the team in a number of offensive categories is former Soddy-Daisy standout Zach Stephens. The first baseman/designated hitter has a .455 batting average, 12 home runs, seven doubles and 33 RBIs, all of which are team bests.

Former Walker Valley player Brandon Turner is one of Tech's assistant coaches.

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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