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Bryan Hudnell | Staff Writer

The Toronto Blue Jays drafted TJ Zeuch 21st overall in the first round during the Major League Baseball Draft on June 2. According to Zeuch, playing professional baseball was always a dream of his.

“It feels amazing,” Zeuch said. “Playing professionally has been a dream of mine since I was 5 years old and getting that opportunity is a dream come true, being a first round pick makes that fact even sweeter.”

Zeuch was a 2013 Mason graduate and was a pitcher for the Comets. He had a 14-3 record and had 137 strikeouts. He had an earned run average of 2.15 his junior year then lowered it to a 0.62 his senior season. He was awarded First Team Greater Miami Conference his junior and senior year.

Zeuch attended the University of Pittsburgh and had a vital role on the Panthers rotation. His draft stock rose his junior year when he became the ace of their rotation. After being injured for the first month of the season, Zeuch dominated his competition with a 6-1 record, 3.10 ERA, and had 74 strikeouts in 69.2 innings pitched. Zeuch was a member of the Atlantic Coastal Conference Second Team for his performance this season.

After being drafted by Toronto, Zeuch believes he has a great opportunity to be successful in Toronto.

“They are a very strong organization and they seem to be getting even better,” Zeuch said. “I think I will fit very well in their system and on the big league club when I get the call up.”

Reflecting on his journey, Zeuch credits his accomplishments to the work he has put in on and off the baseball field.

“It took years and years of dedication, determination, and hard work,” Zeuch said. “I consistently reminded myself what I was working for. As I got older and baseball became more serious, the work only became more intense but it was all worth it in the end and I wouldn’t trade a second of it for anything.”

Current Mason Baseball coach Curt Bly recalls Zeuch being one of the hardest working players on the team when he was at Mason.

“TJ was a tireless worker,” Bly said. “He was a guy you could always count on and was always ready to go. He was a leader in terms of showing other guys, particularly pitchers, what it took to be successful. He wasn’t afraid to do the work necessary to be successful.”

Bly said Zeuch has a great chance to become a great pitcher in the MLB.

“He’s very talented and has a huge frame,” Bly said. “His talent is certainly draft worthy but it’s the work ethic, mentality and attitude that really make those guys make it and I think TJ has it.”

Zeuch is likely to start out in the Blue Jays’ farm system before he gets called up to the big leagues. Zeuch is Mason’s first ever first round draft pick in the school’s history. Reflecting on his journey, Zeuch has learned that there is no one that can stop a person from achieving his or her dreams and aspirations.

“What I’ve learned the most is to not pay attention to what other people say,” Zeuch said. “If you have a goal and you put the work in, you absolutely can achieve it.”

Check out the article on the CSPN:http://thecspn.com/?p=38166

bhudnell.chronicle@gmail.com

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