By JOE CATULLO JR.
Watching the MLB Draft from his house in Canal Winchester on Friday, Drew Dosch saw his name scroll on television that the Baltimore Orioles selected him.
“It’s been a dream for as long as we can remember,” Dosch’s father, Greg, said.
Through all of the excitement with his mother, older brother and kid sister, Dosch looked at his father and shared a moment he fantasized about since he was 5.
“It’s just such a great feeling to be able to look at Dad and finally saying ‘We did it,’ ” Dosch said. “Dream definitely came true that day.
“If you bring in the hard work and the time and go through that grind every day, you can pursue the dreams you’ve had since you were a little kid.”
Dosch was the seventh round, 219th pick for the Orioles. He wanted to keep the draft party small with his immediate family.
“Obviously there have been a lot more people that made an impact and that I owe thanks to, but those were the people that every day went through the sacrifices that got me to this point,” Dosch said.
One person Dosch said he owes respect to is former Youngstown State manager Rich Pasquale who recruited Dosch to suit up for the Penguins.
“It’s someone that definitely deserves everything he gets,” Pasquale said. “When you got to know him and his family, you knew he was the right guy to make our program go to the next level.
“He’s just an awesome kid.”
Dosch said he learned a lot from first-year coach Steve Gillispie but added that Pasquale was the one who gave him an opportunity.
“He had faith in me to go out there every day,” Dosch said. “I would never be able to be in the spot I am today without him.”
This past season, Dosch was named to the First-Team All-Horizon League at third base for the second straight season, voted Capital One Academic All-America Second Team and the Horizon League’s Scholar-Athlete of the Month in February.
“He’s always the first person there [and] the last one to leave,” shortstop Phil Lipari said. “Anything you need he’ll do for you.
“He’s not a real vocal leader,” Lipari said. “He leads by his actions, and obviously his actions had everything to do with it. Everybody tried to emulate him in their play.”
On the field, Dosch finished second in the conference with a .338 batting average, tied for third with 40 runs along with teammate Mike Accardi and tied for third with 68 hits.
When scouts asked Gillispie what type of player Dosch is, he refers to April 10.
“All you need to know about Drew’s season is bottom of the first against West Virginia at Eastwood Field,” Gillispie said. “There’s a runner on second with one out, and West Virginia intentionally walked him in the bottom of the first. That says it all right there.”
Dosch’s numbers may have been better if he did not hurt his right knee at Valparaiso on May 17.
It was the top of the fifth inning with runners on first and second and nobody out. Gillispie gave Dosch the bunt signal with YSU leading 2-1.
“As I was giving signs, I noticed the third baseman was back, so we put it on,” Gillispie said. “It was a great bunt, and that’s why the catcher threw it away because he was in such a rush.
“And then he just tried to avoid the first baseman and hit the bag with his leg locked out.”
Dosch had reconstructive knee surgery three days before the draft. Doctors reconstructed his ACL and reattached his LCL to the bone. The injury forced Dosch to miss the Horizon League Tournament at Eastwood Field.
“It was heartbreaking, really,” Dosch said. “Since my freshman year, I looked forward to this year with the Horizon League Tournament being at home and how much of an honor it would have been. It was really hard to have to sit in the dugout and watch.”
Dosch’s injury may also keep him away from professional baseball. There is a chance that the secondary social studies education major may return for a senior season, depending how his rehab assignments go. Dosch has until mid-July to make a decision.
Dosch said this decision is up in the air, and he will evaluate the situation with his family and the Orioles in the upcoming weeks.
“If everything works out, I would love to pursue the professional baseball route, but you can’t rule anything out this day and age,” he said.