Zane Lattig finished his baseball career at Olentangy Orange with one of the most exciting plays in the sport.

On March 12, one day before spring sports would be suspended -- and ultimately canceled -- by the OHSAA because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the senior stepped to the plate in a scrimmage at home against Buckeye Valley and belted a drive to the gap and legged out a triple.

"I was sitting in the dugout and told (assistant coach) Zane Bayliss, 'If this is his last at-bat, at least it's a triple,' " said Matt Lattig, who also is an assistant coach for Orange as well as Zane's father. "The high school season is more about playing in front of family and friends than performance. That's what the summer is for. You play for the name on your back in those (summer) games, but in high school, you go out and have fun. You play for your school and the dudes around you."

Zane Lattig isn't done with baseball, as he has committed to play at the University of Charleston in West Virginia. A right-handed pitcher and infielder, he had strong seasons as a sophomore and junior at Orange and expected the same this spring.

"It's disappointing. That's the main thing," Lattig said. "You go all through school from the first grade up and all you hear is, 'Wait until your senior year. That's the year that you'll make all of your memories.'

"Luckily, I had my senior football season, but that's not really my main sport. We worked so hard (in the offseason) and pushed each other to get ready. It was sad to hear that the season was canceled, but now I will get ready for (Charleston)."

In 2018, Lattig went 4-3 on the mound with a 2.08 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings. Last spring, he went 7-4 with a 2.11 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 66 1/3 innings and batted .288 with 10 RBI and 16 runs and was named first-team all-district in Division I and all-OCC-Buckeye Division.

"Zane's locked in and the team wants to play well behind him," said coach Tom Marker, whose team finished 22-8 overall and placed second (12-3) in the OCC-Buckeye behind Liberty (13-2) last season. "He has a quiet confidence about him and is a quiet competitor. He's not fist-pumping flashy. He's mature and has been around sports for so long."

In football last fall, Lattig caught a team-high 43 passes for 468 yards and one touchdown as a wide receiver to earn second-team all-league honors, as the Pioneers finished 10-2 overall and won the OCC-Buckeye at 5-0.

"Zane's a dual-sport athlete and good in both," Marker said. "I think (Charleston) might try him mainly as a pitcher.

"He's going to get stronger and more defined. When you have a dual-sport athlete that goes on to focus on one sport, you'll see that he hasn't reached his peak. He will get stronger and utilize his lower half. He has so much command of three pitches (fastball, curveball and changeup) whenever he wants them."

Lattig said he may try to work his way into the batter's box and play in the field, but his focus is on making sure he can perform on the mound.

"I have to get better control of my pitches with either the fastball or the change as my out-pitch," he said. "The key to those two pitches is throwing them with the same intent and letting the grip do all of the work.

"I throw a circle-change, and I was lucky to have a couple of former Orange players, (2015 graduate) Tyler Johnson and (2017 graduate) Tyler Brown, help me with that."

Lattig is looking to play summer ball with the Columbus Cobras, assuming there is a season.

"I have to keep throwing in order to add (velocity) and get stronger," said Lattig, who has a 3.65 GPA and plans to major in physical therapy in college. "I'm looking to add a slider or a (cut-fastball), something that moves to the left. That will give me more movement and I can become more versatile as a pitcher."

shennen@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekHennen