Former Old Mill ace Ziegler has award-winning year in Ala.

SIDELINES

May 10, 1998|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Mike Ziegler, an All-Metro pitcher at Old Mill last spring, has been named the Alabama Junior and Community College Division I Conference Player of the Year.

Going 11-2 with three saves (two in a doubleheader) and a 2.21 ERA for Shoals Community College in Muscle Shoals, Ala., Ziegler nosed out an Alabama native and the ace pitcher for regular-season champion Wallace-Hanceville (Ala.) by four votes for the honor.

In two starts against Wallace, Ziegler was 1-1; as a team, the Stallions were 1-3 against the top seed.

Ziegler's 11 wins led the conference, and he was third in strikeouts with 75 in 80 innings.

Ziegler, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound right-hander, led the nationally 14th-ranked Stallions to a 38-10 (18-6 conference) record and was also named All-Region.

He beat Central Union Community College, 8-1, for his 12th win in the first game of the region playoffs Thursday. The region winner advances to the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series in Grand Junction, Colo., later this month.

"We've got as good a shot as anybody to win the region with the way Mike has been pitching," said Shoals coach Mark Lee.

"We knew Mike would help us, but he has exceeded our expectations. Mike really studies the game and had an All-American type year."

Lee put Ziegler on an extensive running and conditioning program last fall that resulted in his losing nearly 20 pounds and adding a couple more miles an hour to his fastball.

Ziegler throws consistently in the high 80s, but has been clocked in the 90s this spring.

"We didn't run that much in high school, and I wish we had," said Ziegler. "I'm in the best shape I've ever been, and it has helped my pitching."

Ziegler was 7-3 with a 2.29 ERA, 100 strikeouts and only eight walks in 67 innings last spring at Old Mill. He tied the state record for strikeouts in a game (19) and career shutouts (seven). His 199 career strikeouts set a school record.

Have a note for Sidelines? Call Pat O'Malley's 24-hour Sportsline at 410-647-2499.

Pub Date: 5/10/98

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