The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

August 10, 2013

Zack Peck signs to play baseball at Central Methodist

By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer

— Zack Peck, a three-year starter at shortstop for McDonald County High School, has signed a baseball letter of intent with Central Methodist University of Fayette, Mo.

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Peck played center field for American Legion Post 392 in its late games this season. But shortstop is his favorite position.

Peck earned four varsity letters for the Mustangs under Lee Smith and, the last two seasons, Nick Martin.

“I probably began playing shortstop as early as the fifth grade,” said Peck, who bats right.

Said Central coach Nate Breland: “We’re hoping Zack will compete for a middle infield position (shortstop or second base).”

Said Martin: “Zack, who’s athletic, has outstanding range and a good arm.”

Fall workouts, of course, will determine much of Peck’s role in 2014.

Said Peck on Saturday: “I hope to play next season on most days because they (the Eagles) have a combined freshman-junior varsity team in addition to the varsity.”

Added Breland: “Zack is a good kid and comes from a great family.”

Peck admitted maybe it didn’t hurt his chances of signing with Central Methodist that Breland’s wife, the former Brenda Campbell, is a McDonald County graduate.

“My parents (Rosie and Keith) know Brenda (who played volleyball at Central) really well,” Zack Peck said.

Peck, who worked during the summer at Lost Springs Golf & Athletic Club at Rogers. Ark., plans to major in business management. He’ll go to Fayette next week.

Breland, who’s assisted by Dane Frazier and Dustin Ray, is in his first season as the head coach. The NAIA Eagles compete in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.

Breland, a former catcher and outfielder for the Eagles, has been an assistant and recruiting coordinator with the program since 2007.

Breland also was the head strength and conditioning coach for the Eagles for six years.

“That’s for all 14 sports,” he said with a laugh.

Central recently signed Tyler Musick of Wheaton. He also played American Legion baseball for Monett Post 91.

Breland, who has undergraduate and master’s degrees from Central, is a 2002 graduate of Waynesville High School. He plans to take a group from Fayette this week to Waynesville to assist with relief efforts because of the flooding.