St. Joseph-Metuchen High School senior James Ziemba has verbally committed to play baseball at Duke University.
Ziemba, a 6-9 left-hander and Hillsborough resident, was 2-3 with 27 strikeouts in 251/3 innings pitched this past spring for the Falcons. He was garnering interest from The University of Virginia, Georgetown University, St. John’s University, Boston College, Penn State University and Rutgers University.
“We’ve been looking at schools throughout the entire process,” Ziemba said. “My cousin goes there (Duke) and I’ve visited a few times. I think the fit is great for me especially because it’s hard to find such a great combination of academics and athletics anywhere else.”
Zimeba said that Duke baseball coach Chris Pollard, who was hired by the institution on June 14, has told him that he’ll see significant innings as a freshman.
Ziemba is also a member of the St. Joseph basketball team, which captured its first state championship this past winter with an NJSIAA Non-Public A championship. He was limited to four games due to the combination of a knee injury and the number of college-bound players the Falcons had on their roster.
Still, colleges saw potential in Ziemba as a basketball player. He was receiving interest from Colgate University, Quinnipiac University, Stonehill College and St. Michael’s College in addition to several Ivy League schools.
Ultimately, Ziemba saw a better future by playing baseball. He’ll be participating in the Major League Scouting Bureau’s invitational at Diamond Nation in Flemington on Saturday, which includes some of the best high school and college players in the area. He’s also set to work out with the Kansas City Royals scout team in Jupiter, Fla. in October.
“As a tall lefty pitcher, I haven’t done great but I’ve thrown very well this summer,” Ziemba said.