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Zumwalt Looks Forward To 'Showing What I Can Do' At Toledo

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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Zumwalt Looks Forward To 'Showing What I Can Do' At Toledo

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Preston Zumwalt 3B / SS / Tippecanoe, OH / 2025

TIPP CITY - The Junior Future Games initiated the recruiting process for Preston Zumwalt and the Future Games put a stamp on things.

Now the Tippecanoe High School junior has a college home at the University of Toledo.

“They saw me at the Future Games and then called me on Aug. 1,” the third-rated 2025 third baseman in Ohio related. “I went to a camp about a week after and a day after the camp they offered. I took my visit a month ago and decided a few days later it was right for me.”

PBR was vital in getting exposure to schools like Toledo.

“I had my first call eighth grade summer after the Junior Future Games,” Zumwalt reflected. “PBR really helped me out with the Junior Future Games and State Games. That’s where most coaches saw me play.

“This summer really took the pressure off with the new rule when you could not call coaches,” Zumwalt added. “I just went out and had fun.”

Once Aug. 1 came, just after the Future Games in Georgia, it all exploded.

“It was great hearing from all the coaches and getting love from everyone,” Zumwalt pointed out. “I didn’t think I’d get as many calls as I did. It was exciting knowing people saw me at the Future Games or this summer.”

Akron, Xavier, Kent State, Wright State and VCU all showed an interest with Zumwalt’s other offer and visit coming from Ohio University. But it was Toledo that was right according to the 32nd-ranked junior in the state.

“I felt comfortable with the coaches,” Zumwalt explained. “I liked the campus and everything about it. It’s exactly two hours from my house, which is an easy drive.”

Toledo found the 6-1 194-pounder a perfect fit for the program.

“They like my bat,” Zumwalt noted. “They think I can play other positions than third, but they think I’ll probably stay there.”

The idea of playing baseball at the next level has been a long-time dream.

“Since I started playing I’ve wanted to play the highest level at college,” Zumwalt said. “Going into freshman year with 14U ball it started becoming more realistic texting with coaches after the Junior Future Games. That definitely motivated me with my goals and wanting to play even more. My speed was holding me back with everyone so I really worked on that along with my hitting and fielding.”

Elbow surgery the summer of 2022 was not the total setback one might think.

“I learned stretching and mobility, all the little things, and I actually gained velo,” the 16-year-old noted. “It helped me work harder when I got back out there.

“But it was hard not being able to do baseball all the time,” Zumwalt admitted. “I went to games to keep my mind off of not playing. I learned through rough times you have to persevere to get where you want to be.”

For Zumwalt, that is being a commit to UT.

“It’s exciting, of course,” Zumwalt related. “I felt the weight off my shoulders. Now I’m more relaxed and not putting pressure on myself. I can just go out there and have fun.”

There are a number of individuals that played a key role in making it all happen.

“My grandpa (Ron Howard) has always been one of my biggest supporters throwing BP and taking me everywhere,” Zumwalt pointed out. “My parents also helped and so did Jordan (Chiero, PBR Ohio Director of Scouting) with getting me out there to colleges. I wouldn’t be here without that. I also thank the coaches at Ohio Elite for scheduling games to help get me looks.”

Business, physical therapy and physician’s assistant/pre-med are being considered as a college major by Zumwalt, a 3.9 student excited about what the future holds at the Mid-American Conference university.

“I’m looking forward to road trips and playing all these good schools,” Zumwalt concluded. “I’m also looking forward to 24/7 access to hitting facilities, competing with the big dogs and showing what I can do.”

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