Xavier Musketeer's Zac Richard: The Lovable Giant

Kevin T. JohnsonContributor IJanuary 19, 2010

Zac Richard, a member of the University of Xavier Musketeers baseball team, may seem a little intimidating at first sight with his 6’ 5”, 275-pound frame. However, once you get to know the real Mr. Richard, you will quickly pick up on his quiet and soft spoken demeanor.

Even though it may seem as though the big fella wouldn’t hurt a fly, he will gladly be the first to have his teammate's back if any kind of altercation were to present itself on the playing field.

Don’t arouse his anger, because once you get that large frame in motion, not too many people will be willing to stand in its way.

Big Country, as his friends call him, was born Jan. 2, 1988, in Sidney, Ohio. Zac attended Versailles High School in Ohio.

Zack’s parents are Mark and Peggi Richard. Zac’s brother, Jon, will be joining the Musketeer squad next season. Big Country is in his senior year at Xavier University where he is perusing a business management degree.

Zac’s junior season proved to be a dominant year for the Versailles native. A few of his outstanding numbers from the 2008 season included 73 hits for the season, top of the team, and ranked eighth in the A-10.

He also tied for 11th in the A-10 in RBI (45), 12th in at-bats (213), and 13th in total bases (106). Zac finished the season first on the team in HBP (11) and putouts (351 on 381 chances) and second in batting average (.343), slugging percentage (.498), on base percentage (.424), and doubles (15).

When it was all said and done, Big Country earned himself a spot to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference Second Team.

Enough with all the numbers and impressive statistics, it’s time to get to the meat and potatoes of what really makes the man that is Zac Richard. Zac loves the outdoors and when he’s not playing ball, will take a day out on the lake fishing with his buddies over anything.

This was evident by the way the Big Country spent all off his off time out in the country this summer when he played for the St. Cloud Riverbats of St. Cloud, Minn.

Even though there were only a handful of off days in the two-and-a-half months spent in Minnesota, he still found plenty of time to do plenty of fishing in the land of 10,000 lakes.

One of the greatest times Zac said he had in his stint with the Riverbats was the team’s week-long road trip to Thunder Bay, Ontario. The scenery was breathtaking, and to top it off, the hotel was at the base of a mountain range that could be seen from his hotel room window.

The last night before the team was heading out, Zac and a couple of teammates ventured out into the wilderness.

They didn’t have to walk far before finding a nice pond with an inviting fire pit and fire wood close by. Needless to say, Big Country felt right at home even in an entire different country.

Zac, even though playing in his final year as a Musketeer, has no intentions of ending his playing career after the 2010 collegiate season. Zac is not only a force to be reckoned with at the plate, but is also an extremely competitive pitcher on the mound.

This interesting dynamic has professional scouts turning their heads and taking notice. Because of the Big Country's abilities, coupled with his performance, he has a legitimate chance of being drafted this coming spring in the Major League First Year Player Draft.

Even if an opportunity doesn’t present itself to play for a Major League Baseball organization, Zac would still like to pursue his dream by joining a semi-pro non-affiliated baseball club.

Never judge a book by its cover; you never know what you might learn if you take the time to read it. Hope this gave you an opportunity to get to know a little more about Zac Richard, other than what the scorebook reads.

Zac and the Musketeer baseball team are back on the grind after their winter break. They are preparing for the upcoming and looking forward for their season opener on Feb. 2 against the Volunteers of Tennessee.