COLUMBUS, Ohio – It was just last week, a day after his 21st birthday, one of the only things on the mind of Zach Farmer was getting back on the pitcher’s mound. It’s that positive attitude that everyone who knew the Ohio State pitcher will remember most.
“The happiest and saddest days of my time at Ohio State have Zach Farmer in them,” said Ohio State head baseball coach Greg Beals. “Winning the recruiting battle was something special for us and losing him today is something tough.”
Out of small Piketon, Ohio, Zach Farmer came to Ohio State with big expectations. He met or exceeded most of them. Six wins his freshmen season, a season that was interrupted by the diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia. It was a fight he was determined to win.
“It’s always fun when he came here, gave us some hope that’d he be back,” said OSU sophomore pitcher Adam Niemeyer. “We thought he’d be back. He always had a positive attitude and it gave us a positive attitude.”
One year after being diagnosed, he was back on the mound, cancer-free, throwing out a ceremonial first pitch. But 3 weeks ago, the cancer returned, and this time stronger than ever, taking away a man who left an impact on so many.
“I don’t even know where to start when talking about his legacy,” said Beals. “I think of the word fighter, courageous, all the way to end. The positive frame of mind he had certainly comes to my mind. His smile, southern drawl. He won’t be soon forgotten.
He leaves behind his wife of just 16 days Kelsie, his parents, and a host of others who loved him, including the Buckeye teammates and coaches he inspired every day.
It’s not an opportunity we were certainly looking for but it does present us an opportunity for that brotherhood to strengthen and grow,” said Beals. That’s what Zach would want, no doubt about it.”
Funeral arrangements are pending. The lights at Bill Davis Stadium will remain on through the night in memory of Zach. Ohio State will also hold a public memorial open house at the stadium to celebrate his life, starting at 8 p.m.