DARKE COUNTY – A pair of seniors who recently have come true with big individual performances are this week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week.
The Daily Advocate athletes of the week are Greenville baseball player Tyler Netzley and Arcanum track and field athlete Erica Zimmer.
Netzley was lights out on the mound on Monday, throwing a complete game one-hitter in a Greater Western Ohio Conference game against Sidney. In seven innings on the mound the Green Wave ace allowed no earned runs while striking out seven on senior night.
“Did a real good job,” Greenville baseball coach Eric Blumenstock said of Netzley’s performance against Sidney. “Was hitting his spots like he needed to, moving the ball around a lot, keeping the other team off-balance.”
The gem against Sidney was just a continuation of a great year for the Greenville senior. So far this season he’s second in the entire GWOC North with 39 strikeouts.
“That’s excellent,” Blumenstock said. “There’s a lot of really good arms in the GWOC and the GWOC North, and he’s right up there to the top of it.”
In 44 2/3 innings on the mound this season, Netzley has a 3.61 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP.
“He’s been a competitor all year,” Blumenstock said. “He throws a good, hard fastball, excellent curveball.”
Netzley, who is committed to play college baseball for Earlham College, always is ready to go and always wants the ball the game is on the line.
“He’s a gamer,” Blumenstock said. “He’s got the attitude that he wants to go out there every single day. He’s fiery. And that’s what it takes to be a top-level pitcher.”
Zimmer, who is committed to Otterbein University, leads all Darke County girls with a throw of 124 feet in the discus and a throw of 41 feet 3.75 inches in the shot put.
“She’s puts a lot of time in and focus,” Arcanum throwing coach Theo Whitaker said. “She comes early to practice and stays late some days.”
Zimmer set her personal best in the shot put at Versailles’ Stillwater Valley Invitational this season, breaking the meet record and Arcanum’s school record.
The senior threw her season-best mark of 124 feet in the discus at Ansonia’s Tiger Relays, breaking her own school record.
“It’s kind of exciting because she’s improved on what she’s done last year,” Whitaker said.
Last year Zimmer qualified for the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division III state track and field meet in the shot put and placed 13th in the state. She wants to make it back to Columbus this year in both the shot put and discus.
“If things keep going the way it’s going and she keeps going she could get back,” Whitaker said.
In addition to being one of the state’s top competitors, Zimmer also is a strong leader for the Trojans. She’s always pushing her teammates to do better, Whitaker, and coaching them on techniques.
Zimmer has been so successful in track and field because of her work ethic and passion for the sport.
“She just has that love for it,” Whitaker said. “She’s very passionate about it, and it shows.”
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.