The Career Numbers
- 4.13 ERA
- 294 innings pitched
- 187 strikeouts
- 108 walks
- 16-18 win loss record
The 2017 season was not the best of Andrew Zellner’s collegiate career. The right-hander from Farmersville, Ohio struggled to keep runners off base and took large steps backward compared to his sophomore and junior campaigns. Still, Zellner eclipsed the 60-inning mark for the third-straight season and even if the numbers were not great, he remained an important part of the rotation and for that, he deserves credit.
Zellner was very good in high school, as most players who make the Division I ranks are. He played for four years at Valley View High School and earned regional recognition for his work. He also earned a spot on the Cincinnati Bearcats.
In 2014, as a freshman, Zellner did not appear to be ready, as opponents hit .285 off of him while he was beat up for a 6.44 ERA. He also walked as many batters as he struck out (21). He took a major step forward in 2015, pitching to a 3.63 ERA with 57 strikeouts in 69 1⁄3 innings while splitting time between the bullpen and starting rotation.
It was in his junior season that Zellner ascended to ace status. He recorded a 2.32 ERA across 108 2⁄3 innings, sprinkling in four complete games including two shutouts on his way to first-team All-American Athletic Conference honors.
By returning to the Bearcats for his senior season, Zellner appeared poised to end his collegiate career in style. Unfortunately, he hit a wall as a senior. His ERA exploded to 5.98 even as teams only hit .249 off of him. Erratic pitching ruined the year, as Zellner walked 26 batters and hit 19 in 64 2⁄3 innings. He even missed a few starts for an undisclosed reason and never really found himself.
It was too bad that his senior year ended in such a way because in 2016 he was untouchable.
The Best of the Best
March 8, 2014 vs. Youngstown State
In the third start of his career, Zellner threw 7 1⁄3 innings of shutout ball, eclipsing the 100-pitch mark for the first and only time of his freshman campaign.
April 8, 2014 vs. Wright State
By scattering seven hits across six innings, Zellner ended up allowing just one run to earn his second win.
May 2, 2015 at Memphis
Zellner was never a big strikeout guy, but he was on this day, punching out 11 Tigers during a two-run 7 2⁄3 inning start.
March 19, 2016 vs. Northwestern
In his first complete game of the season, Zellner allowed only two hits and struck out seven in shutting out the Wildcats.
March 25, 2016 vs. Xavier
In his next start, Zellner gave up more hits (six), but he still twirled a gem, shutting out the Musketeers over seven innings while striking out 11.
April 22, 2016 vs. Memphis
This was Zellner’s second career complete game shutout even though it only featured three strikeouts.
Feb. 17, 2017 at Northwestern State
Things started off just fine in 2017, as Zellner pitched 6 1⁄3 innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts in the season opener.
March 3, 2017 at Arkansas State
With only two runs allowed on as many hits, Zellner had himself a quality six innings, while striking out nine.
March 10, 2017 at Tennessee
Facing a then nationally ranked Tennessee squad, Zellner reached back and fired six innings and allowed just one run, earning his first win of the season.
May 6, 2017 at Memphis
Late in the season, Zellner found the magic one last time, allowing just one run over six innings in a 13-6 win over Memphis.
A Final Goodbye
It will always sting that Zellner went out on the low of 2017 and not the high of 2016. But do not despair. Zellner still flashed the ace stuff more than a few times in 2017 and we’ll always have that magical 2016 season. That’s the version we should hold onto.