The Akron Zips baseball team is the varsity intercollegiate athletic team representing the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio, United States. The team plays in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I level as a member of the Mid-American Conference (MAC). The program plays at Skeeles Field, which had been the Zips' home from 1967 to 2015.

Akron Zips
2023 Akron Zips baseball team
Founded1873 (1873)
UniversityUniversity of Akron
Head coachBryan Faulds
ConferenceMid-American Conference
LocationAkron, Ohio
Home stadiumSkeeles Field
(Capacity: 1,500)
ColorsBlue and gold[1]
NCAA Tournament appearances
Conference tournament champions
1991 (MCC), 1996 (MAC)
Regular season conference champions
1954 (OAC)

The program was established in early 1873 during the school's first academic year and played in the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) from 1954 to 1966, the Ohio Valley Conference from 1981 through 1987, and the Mid-Continent Conference for the 1990, 1991, and 1992 seasons. The Zips began competition in the MAC in 1993 and were placed in the East Division when it was created in 2000. The team had one appearance in the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship, which came in 1996 following their only MAC Tournament championship. Additionally, the Zips won the 1954 OAC championship and the 1991 Mid-Continent Conference title.[2]

On July 10, 2015, Akron announced the baseball program would be eliminated, effective immediately, after having fielded the sport since 1873 and uninterrupted since 1947. The university cited budget problems as the main reason for ending the program. A group of baseball alumni formed in an effort to try to save the program.[3] Players were permitted to remain on scholarship to finish their degree, though most transferred to other schools to continue their playing careers.[4][5]

On September 19, 2017, the university announced baseball would return for the 2019–20 academic year.[6]

It was announced in Fall of 2018 that the baseball team, resuming play in 2020, would be led by Head coach Chris Sabo, former Major League All-Star and Rookie of the year. His assistants would be Associate head coach Jordon Banfield and Pitching Coach Dan McKinney.[7]

As of 2021, Akron and Northern Illinois are the only current or former MAC schools not to have a player named the MAC Baseball Player of the Year or MAC Baseball Pitcher of the Year since those awards were first given in 1986 and 1988 respectively.

Major League Baseball edit

Akron has had 22 Major League Baseball Draft selections since the draft began in 1965.[8]

Zips in the Major League Baseball Draft
Year Player Round Team
1965 Ray Glinsky 47 Cardinals
1966 Ray Glinsky 2 Tigers
1966 James Barton 2 White Sox
1971 Randy Richards 2 Pirates
1981 Randy Budd 22 Expos
1982 Mike Birkbeck 11 Cubs
1983 Mike Birkbeck 4 Brewers
1985 Pat Gliha 22 Braves
1987 John Massarelli 8 Astros
1995 Jim Putko 23 Cubs
2000 Mark Malaska 8 Devil Rays
2003 Aaron Gangi 14 Devil Rays
2006 Ross Liersemann 18 Marlins
2007 Tom Farmer 20 Twins
2008 Doug McNulty 49 Mets
2008 Tom Farmer 47 Twins
2011 Drew Turocy 24 Red Sox
2011 Chris Bassitt 16 White Sox
2012 Andrew Brown 23 Rockies
2014 Devan Ahart 16 Dodgers
2015 Joey Havrilak 18 Tigers
2015 J. T. Brubaker 6 Pirates

References edit

  1. ^ The University of Akron Department of Athletics Brand Guide (PDF). June 19, 2018. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  2. ^ "Akron Zips". Archived from the original on 2013-03-22. Retrieved 2013-04-14.
  3. ^ "Save Akron Baseball". 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-10-08. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  4. ^ "University of Akron to cut 215 jobs, baseball program to save $40 million". Akron Beacon Journal. July 10, 2015. Archived from the original on August 18, 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-11.
  5. ^ "University of Akron to lay off 215; eliminate baseball and take other measures to solve '$60 million financial problem'". The Plain Dealer. July 10, 2015. Archived from the original on August 1, 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-11.
  6. ^ Farkas, Karen (September 19, 2017). "University of Akron to bring back baseball; add women's lacrosse". The Plain Dealer. Cleveland.
  7. ^ "Banfield & McKinney Named to Akron Baseball Staff" (Press release). University of Akron Athletics. December 12, 2018.
  8. ^ "MLB Amateur Draft Picks who came from "University of Akron (Akron , OH)"". Retrieved 2015-07-11.

External links edit