Zach Keller a Big Contributor to Tri-County Baseball

By Christopher Tremblay Staff Sports Writer
They might not have nabbed a championship this season, but Zach Keller, heading to Wentworth this fall, feels Tri-County made a good effort.
Issue Date: 
August, 2017
Article Body: 

Having never qualified for the State Tournament during his three-year stint with the varsity squad, Zach Keller and his Tri-County teammates were oh-so-close this spring, but just missed the cut going 8-10. Although the Cougars were just shy of advancing Keller, a two-year captain for the team, thought the team played well.
“This team has definitely grown, and we did have a decent year going 8-10 and just missing out on the tournament on the last day of the regular season,” Keller said. “I believe this class set a really good example for the rest of the team and the years to come. The system is in place and they should be able to continue to improve.”
While the Cougars did put up a quality season, Coach Ryan Hippert believes that Keller, a Bellingham resident, had a lot to do with the team’s success.
“I’ve been coaching for 6 years, and he’s right up there with the top athletes that I’ve ever coached,” Hippert said. “He was a two-year captain for us, batted in the cleanup position hitting around .400 and could play just about anywhere I asked him to.”
Keller has been playing baseball since he was about 7 years old and played just about every position on the field, except pitcher during that time so by the time he joined the Tri-County team the Cougar coaching staff continued to use him in that aspect. As a freshman, Keller played infield and catcher for the junior varsity team; entering his sophomore campaign with the varsity squad he saw action at first, second and third base in addition to right field – positions he continued to play right up to his final season.
Although playing numerous positions, Keller prefers the outfield.
“The infield has a little more action, but I like playing the outfield as you’ve got to read the ball and think technically a lot more,” he said. “I also feel that the outfield along with first base is where I excel more on the field.”
According to the Coach, the Bellingham native always seems to have a smile on his face and is willing to give everything in order for the team to succeed.
“Zach is a smart kid who is all about the team; he’ll play anywhere on the field with success, making him the perfect utility player,” Hippert said. “As a three-year varsity player, he gained confidence each and every year for us.”
With his ability to learn and do what the coaching staff was asking of him made him a perfect choice to lead the team.
“Being named a captain in my junior year was actually weird, but very humbling,” he said. “We were a very young team, and I had to set the standard. Some players found it tough, but eventually came around, especially if they wanted to succeed.”
During his first year with Tri-County on junior varsity team, the Cougars were only able to win four games. As a varsity athlete the next season, Keller and the team once again put up four wins, but improved their regular season win total over the next few seasons to where they were knocking on the tournament door his senior season. Individually, Keller saw improvement in his game including a walk-off hit to give the team a big win on Senior Day.
“I feel my infield game has gotten better through the years, but I never really thought of myself as a varsity infielder, “Keller said. “I have to continually prove it to myself that I belong here by not allowing any errors, and if I do I have to pick myself back up and reprove myself all over again.”
In addition to playing baseball Keller also took the field with the football team and with his attending Wentworth Institute of Technology in the fall, sports are on the backburner for now.
“Sports are up in the air right now,” he said. “Football starts earlier than school and trying to adjust to school while taking part in football seemed like it was going to be too tough. I may attend the open tryouts for the baseball team if I feel comfortable with my school work.”
While his high school coach likes the way he is looking at his latest adventure. He feels that Keller could succeed playing sports on the next level.
“Like I said, Zach is a smart kid and whatever he decides on he will be successful,” Hippert said.