ARCANUM – Arcanum senior Conner Pohl committed to The Ohio State University baseball team on Wednesday.
Pohl, the son of Mark and Missy Pohl, said he’s really excited about the opportunity to attend Ohio State and play college baseball.
“They have a lot to offer athletically and academically,” he said. “They have a great psychology and criminal justice program there, and that really influenced my decision, too.”
At Ohio State Pohl will be a corner infielder for the Buckeyes. He’s excelled in the field and at the plate for Arcanum, having hit .353 with 20 RBIs for the Trojans as a junior.
“Very, very good hitter,” Arcanum baseball coach Randy Baker said. “Good contact hitter. Got a lot of power. His bat speed is really good.”
Pohl also has been Arcanum’s ace pitcher and posted a 0.90 ERA last year. He helped lead the Trojans to the 2015 Cross County Conference championship and was named the CCC baseball player of the year.
Pohl has excelled beyond the baseball diamond as well.
This past fall the Arcanum senior finished third in the CCC boys golf meet with an 18-hole round of 76 and helped lead the Trojans to the conference championship. He then won the Ohio High School Athletic Association sectional championship with a round of 75.
Pohl was named first team all-CCC in boys basketball during his junior year after averaging 15.6 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
However, baseball always was Pohl’s favorite sport.
“Even as a little kid I always enjoyed playing baseball more than really any other sport,” he said. “I have played travel ball since I was a kid, and I fell in love with it as soon as I started playing it.”
College baseball scouts told Pohl they loved his frame and athletic ability but said he needed to add physicality to his game. After hearing that, Pohl decided not to play basketball during his senior season so he could add size and strength while working on baseball-specific exercises.
After working with BJ Paulus from Snap Fitness in Greenville, Tramaine Hall from EnhanceU in Vandalia and working at the Dayton Classics training facility run by Gregg Beemer in West Carrollton, Pohl gained 30 pounds.
“Six to seven times a week I was working out, trying to get better,” said Pohl, who is now 6 feet 5 inches and 210 pounds. “Gained a lot of weight. Got a lot stronger, faster, which really helps with the recruitment to Ohio State.”
The offseason work was a continuation of Pohl’s dedication to baseball.
Last summer he played for two travel baseball teams. He played in regional tournaments in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky with the Dayton Classics.
He then played for Chandler World Baseball, a national travel team that includes players from Alabama, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
Chandler World Baseball played in tournament across the country including in Atlanta; Phoenix; Fort Meyers, Florida; Jupiter, Florida; and New York City. In New York he played in the Metropolitan Baseball Classic, a tournament put on by the New York Mets for college and professional scouts.
“He’s a very hard worker,” Baker said. “He’s played a lot of baseball during the summer. Once our season ends he’s played all the way up through fall ball and stuff so he’s played a lot of baseball.”
At Ohio State Pohl will join a team that currently is 20-11-1 on the season. Last year the Buckeyes went 35-20 and were the seventh seed in the Big Ten conference tournament.
During his time at Ohio State, Pohl hopes to continue to excel on the baseball diamond and in the classroom.
“To go in there and try to start as a freshman,” Pohl said of his goals in college. “That would be a very good goal. Get good grades, especially my freshman year.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.