Head of the arms race

Ullrich takes over Barton pitching duties

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Joining a Barton College baseball program that is attempting to rebound from its poorest season during its NCAA Division II tenure will not rattle Zach Ullrich.

The Division III University of Roanoke (Virginia) program was reeling when Ullrich arrived and assumed duties as the pitching coach. In 2017, Roanoke played in the Division III World Series.

The 30-year-old Ullrich, a native of Camp Hill, Virginia, joins Bulldogs head coach Jim Chester for his second season as the head developmental director and head pitching coach.

Married to the former Meghan Sullivan, Ullrich has been on the scene for approximately three weeks.

“I played Division II (Mansfield University, Pennsylvania) and I really liked the level,” Ullrich commented. “Coach Chester is building something really good, and I want to be a part of it.”

Barton eyes a return to prominence after posting a 12-36 record in 2018 and failing to qualify for the Conference Carolinas tournament.

Chester launched his second demanding rebuilding assignment after doing the same at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania.

“Ullrich is an outstanding addition,” Chester declared. “He has some of the same qualities I do in that he helped turn around the Roanoke program. Being able to share the same situations and knowing how to handle the problems will be very beneficial for Barton College.

“He is a skilled recruiter and has a very good understanding of the state of Virginia.”

Chester explained that he is comfortable in recruiting North Carolina and Maryland and, with Ullrich’s expertise in Virginia, “we will put the program in a really good place.”

Ullrich starred in baseball at Cedar Cliff High School in Pennsylvania and earned a baseball scholarship to Mansfield. He pitched and played outfield his first two seasons, but turned his attention to pitching the last two years.

He launched his coaching career by spending five seasons at Dickinson College, a Division III program in Pennsylvania. Ullrich spent two years at Roanoke.

Ullrich sees his Barton role as “to work with the pitchers and design a program for them” and to “really support Coach Chester and his vision for the program.”

Barton’s top assistant aspires to become a Division I pitching coach and, later, a head coach and athletic director. In that direction, Ullrich expects to learn from Chester and current Barton athletic director and former head baseball coach Todd Wilkinson.

He’s currently involved in recruiting and the mission he says is “bring in the best players we can.”

Ullrich speaks of a promising 2019 season.

“We will bring in a lot of talented players,” he said. “We will have a lot of arms and No. 1 for me is figure out how to best use them.

“The expectations are pretty high to turn things around and make Barton competitive in the conference. The No. 1 goal is to win.”