Wesleyan’s Michalski signs with UNCA

Apr. 01, 2013 @ 11:15 PM

Wesleyan Christian Academy’s Zach Michalski has finally achieved one of his highest goals, signing with NCAA Division I UNC Asheville to continue his baseball career.

Since his earliest days playing, he has aspired to play baseball in college and eventually professionally. But the challenges preventing any young athlete with such lofty goals are difficult. But through his hard work and dedication, he has excelled.

“It feels great,” says Michalski, the son of Chris and Carole of Belews Creek. “It definitely gives me inspiration to keep working and making the next step in my career (in college) and hopefully playing professional baseball, which is my ultimate goal.”

With the Trojans, one of the top programs in the NCISAA for over a decade, Michalski, at 6-foot-6, 240 pounds, has thrived as a first baseman and a pitcher in the field and a power hitter at the plate, helping Wesleyan reach the 3A finals last year.

“Zach Michalski has been in our program for years, and he’s really flourished the last two years to develop himself into a college prospect,” Trojans coach Scott Davis says. “He had a good summer this past summer and attracted the coaches at UNC Asheville.

“Of course, he’s a big, strong kid and he can hit it a mile. He struggles a little bit at times offensively, but he’s got so much potential — and also as a pitcher. So, they like his potential as a pitcher and as a power guy that they can develop their way.”

Michalski began playing baseball when he was 5 years old. He grew to love the game when he was about 10 or 11, which was also about when his cousin, Joe Michalski, began playing professionally in the Baltimore Orioles’ farm system. That pushed him to become that much better.

“I’ve always looked up to him, always tried to be like him. I still wear his number today — No. 44,” he says. “... I’ve always been really good at (baseball). Every time I step out on the field, it just feels at home for me. It’s like a home away from home. And I love the camaraderie with my teammates.”

Michalski’s top honors have included being named Perfect Game Atlantic Coast Top Prospect and Perfect Game USA second-team Preseason Underclassmen All-America as a junior and Rawlings/Perfect Game Preseason Senior Atlantic Region first-team as a senior.

He also participated in the Area Code Games in California and the High School Power Showcase Home Run Derby in Miami. His accomplishments have been the result of a lot of hard work, with which he credits his hitting coach Houston Summers and his uncle for their help.

“There are points where it’s like: I don’t know why I continue to put myself through it,” Michalski says. “But, at the end of the day, you look back at all the years you’ve played and all the time you’ve put into it and you realize you’re working on something special.”

After decommitting from another school in the fall, Michalski briefly reopened his recruitment. UNC Asheville, where Ragsdale’s Mitch Carstens, Ledford’s Brian and Erik Connolly, Glenn’s Justin Hunt and Southwest Guilford’s Andrew Madden also play, quickly jumped in.

Feeling that playing with the number of players with whom he’s already played, plus the coaching staff and the campus atmosphere will be good for him, he chose the Bulldogs, of the Big South Conference, to continue building his career.

“My goal ever since about seventh grade was: I want to play college baseball,” says Michalski, who wants to study health sciences or criminal justice and work for the FBI. “I love it up there, the coaches are great, and it really is the perfect fit.”