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Ohio State signs Vikings ace Myers

WILLOW WOOD – Justin Myers and the Ohio State Buckeyes have just what they wanted: each other.

Tuesday, November 21, 2000

WILLOW WOOD – Justin Myers and the Ohio State Buckeyes have just what they wanted: each other.

Myers has always wanted to play for the Buckeyes, and the Buckeyes wanted a hard-throwing pitcher. That union was completed Monday afternoon in the Symmes Valley High School library when Myers signed a national letter-of-intent to play baseball for Ohio State.

"It’s the greatest feeling in the world," said Myers. "I’ve wanted to go to Ohio State all my life and now I’ve got the opportunity."

Myers had talked with Kentucky, Ohio University, Duke, Cincinnati, and somewhat with Marshall. But his heart was with the Buckeyes.

"I went to Ohio State and looked around and it was tremendous," Myers said of the Ohio State baseball facilities.

Myers became a hot commodity on the Buckeyes wish list after the past two seasons. The 6-foot-5 senior righthander has logged 62 innings in each of the past two seasons and has racked up 220 strikeouts including 122 last year.

He has a 1.29 earned run average and 15-3 record during that span with 53 walks and 59 hits allowed. He has 16 complete games and has yielded just one home run.

Myers signing with Ohio State doesn’t surprise Vikings head coach Rusty Webb.

"Justin is an exceptional young man. He has unlimited potential and unlimited talent," Webb said. "He’s not a vocal kid. He leads by his actions. Justin is a quiet competitor. Losing bothers him more than he shows outward."

Ohio State plans to put Myers in the starting rotation upon his arrival in Columbus. Clocked at 91 miles an hour, Myers knows he still has plenty of room for improvement.

"I had a pitching coach this summer, Heath Askew, who helped me out a lot. Tim Adkins and John Adkins helped me, too," Myers said. "I’ve got a lot to work on (when he gets to Ohio State). I’ll be a freshman again. But they’ll help me out a lot. They’ll make me a pitcher and not a thrower."

Myers pitched last summer for the Huntington (W.Va.) Hounds traveling team and worked in the HIT program. HIT stands for high intensity training.

"It helped me out by giving me more leg strength and made me faster," said Myers.

Besides his pitching skills, Myers is a solid hitter. He hit .510 as a junior with 12 home runs and 35 runs batted in. As a sophomore, he hit .459 with eight homers and 32 RBI.

An all-around athlete, Myers plays center on the basketball team and was second team all-district last year while averaging 18.5 points a game. He was named All-Ohio honorable mention.