By Greg Cameron
June 26, 2015
Zack Collins, a sophomore catcher from the University of Miami, arrived at Providence’s TF Green Airport merely five hours before first pitch on Wednesday. But he already has high hopes for himself and the team.
“I’m going to do my best here to try and get this team going, this offense going,” said Collins following Cotuit’s 5-0 loss to Bourne on Wednesday. “Maybe be an All-Star, too.”
The 6’3″, 220-pound backstop from Pembroke Pines, Fla was listed on the Orleans Firebirds’ roster at the beginning of this season. Collins did not play a game for Orleans, being used only in name as the third string catcher behind USC’s Jeremy Martinez and Wright State’s Sean Murphy. This was because he was busy leading his Hurricanes to the College World Series in Omaha, where they were defeated in the first round by rival University of Florida Gators.
Collins is not done leaving his mark on TD Ameritrade Park yet though, as he is one of five participants in July 2nd’s College Home Run Derby. The winner of last year’s event, Texas sophomore and 2014 Kettleer Tres Barrera, bested high school teammate and Texas Tech junior Eric Gutierrez in a final round that saw the two combine for 43 home runs.
Gutierrez (2015: 4 HR’s in 55 games) returns to this year’s Derby with a chip on his shoulder, and will add to a formidable field of opponents for Collins (15 HR’s in 66 games): BYU freshman Colton Shaver (13 HR’s in 53 games), Wake Forest sophomore and ACC Player of the Year Will Craig (13 HR’s in 53 games) and North Dakota senior Jeff Campbell (11 HR’s in 51 games).
Through two games with the Kettleers, Collins is 1-for-6 with two walks.
Tune in to ESPN on July 2nd to watch Collins in the College Home Run Derby at 8:30 p.m. EST.