Ohio State freshman left-hander pitcher Zach Farmer was showing signs of the stuff that made him one of the nation's top prospects a year ago. A 2013 graduate of southern Ohio's Piketon High School, Farmer had overtures from professional teams in last June's MLB Draft. But the 2011 Baseball America All-American chose to honor his commitment to attend Ohio State.
Starting the season in the rotation as Ohio State's No. 3 starter, Farmer debuted against Indiana State, allowing four runs off seven hits in four innings. The southpaw rebounded a week later, holding Oklahoma to two runs off two hits in 5.1 innings. The outing against Oklahoma, and an April 15 contest against fellow Big XII team West Virginia, showed Farmer had the stuff to be the elite pitcher he projected to be.
Unfortunately the seven-inning, nine-strikeout, one-walk game against the Mountaineers will be Farmer's last start of the season. After becoming ill over the weekend in Ohio State's series at Purdue, low energy maintained as the team returned to Columbus. Ohio State put Farmer through a series of tests on Monday, where it was discovered Farmer has Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Farmer has since been moved to Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center where he will receive treatment beginning Monday.
Appearing in 10 games, nine starts, Farmer held a 3.28 ERA in 49.1 innings. With a .234 batting average against, 34 strikeouts were against 24 walks in posting a 6-4 record.
Ohio State is 25-20 on the season, 6-9 in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes fell 7-3 at Louisville the night after awaiting the news of Farmer's test results before traveling. The Buckeyes host Iowa for a Saturday through Monday series. Two dollars of all ticket sales for Saturday's game will go to a fund to support Minnesota assistant coach Todd Oakes who had his own battle with leukemia, making the weekend series even more meaningful.