Editor’s note: The Ohio State Department of Athletics has issued the following release:
The Ohio State Department of Athletics extends its thoughts and prayers to friends and family of Zach Farmer, who died Tuesday after his battle with leukemia. Farmer, from Piketon, Ohio, was 21.
“We are saddened by the loss of Zach,” said Gene Smith, Vice President and Director of Athletics. “Zach was a remarkable young man who inspired us all. He made a tremendous impact on many lives and showed incredible courage in his fight. We send our heartfelt condolences to Zach’s family and friends during this difficult time.”
“Today is a sad day but also a day of peace for Zach and his family,” said Greg Beals, Ohio State baseball head coach. “We will dearly miss our fellow Buckeye, teammate and friend Zach Farmer. I feel blessed to have had Zach in our program and the opportunity to coach him. Although his time here was cut short, his legacy as a Buckeye will be long lasting. I am proud of the fight he fought – we learned so much from him. Zach’s courage to fight, positive attitude and love for his supporters and teammates defines what it means to be a Buckeye.”
“On behalf of the family, we would like to thank everyone at the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, especially Zach’s nurse practitioner Jon Mickle. The family is also very thankful for all of the support they have received from The Ohio State University and Buckeye Nation.”
A freshman pitcher on the 2014 Ohio State baseball team, Farmer was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia April 28, 2014. After successful treatment, Farmer went into remission on June 6, 2014.
Farmer announced July 15 that the disease returned. He passed away at The James Cancer Hospital at The Ohio State University.
Farmer was 6-4 with a 3.28 ERA in 10 appearances, including nine starts with 34 strikeouts in 49.1 innings pitched for the Scarlet and Gray. Last year, Farmer was named a recipient of CollegeBaseballInsider.com’s Tom Walter/Pete Frates College Baseball Inspiration Award.
Farmer was a four-year letterwinner and three-time first team All-Ohio selection at Piketon and two-time Scioto Valley Conference Player of the Year and four-time first team all-district. He went 10-1 with a 0.52 earned-run average and 162 strikeouts in 81 innings as a senior and led Piketon with a 9-3 record and a 1.39 earned-run average as a junior. Farmer also lettered four years in basketball and was a two-time honorable mention All-Ohio pick.
During his battle, Farmer was involved in the community. He helped raise awareness for the bone marrow registry through Be The Match organization, starting a campus drive with help from his Buckeye teammates. Farmer spoke to several schools around central Ohio as well as supporting multiple individuals with similar illnesses.