His performances on the mound and behind the plate helped Georgia Tech claim the 2012 ACC championship and drew Evans national acclaim as one of 20 semifinalists for the John Olerud Award — given annually to college baseball’s best two-way player.
“Coming here my freshman year I was the only catcher and that really limited my ability to pitch,” said Evans, who was named to Baseball America’s Freshman All-American team for his work behind the plate in 2011. “But I always loved pitching dating back to my time at Roswell High School and I knew I still wanted to do both.”
“It took me some time to get back in the groove of pitching after not throwing for a year, but I worked on it during summer ball and fall practice and the transition wasn’t too tough in the long run.”
Following a number of injuries to the team’s pitching staff early in the season, Evans not only found himself with quick playing time on the mound, but arguably in Tech’s most important role — as the team’s closer in the late innings of close game.
The pressure-packed role treated the 2010 Roswell grad well.
Evans finished the season with 34 strikeouts in 37 innings pitched with a 3.68 ERA and a team-leading seven saves, many of which came in the Jackets' biggest wins of the season — including two in the ACC tournament and another in the NCAA regionals last weekend.
But it wasn’t all about pitching for the former Hornet.
Despite missing two weeks with an injury, Evans was a key cog in the middle of Georgia Tech’s batting order, hitting a .295 and finishing second on the team with 51 RBI. The sophomore was also named a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award, which is given annually to the nation’s best catcher.
“It’s been a fun year and that is the reason I play the game. Whether I am on the mound, hitting or catching, I am having fun on the baseball field.”
Zane will continue his fun this summer in the Cape Cod Baseball League, a wooden bat summer league that features college baseball’s top professional prospects.
Evans will play for the Harwich Mariners before returning to Georgia Tech for his junior season in the fall.