Andrew Mishler

The Ball State men's golf team picked up its first recruit for the 2011 fall season Monday, signing Zach Yinger to a National Letter of Intent.

Yinger, a senior at Sidney High School in Sidney, Ohio, was one of the most highly recruited prospects in Ohio, according to coach Mike Fleck.

"We were very fortunate to be able to attract Zach to Ball State," Fleck said. "I'm really excited to add him to the team. He's a big, athletic kid, hits the ball hard, but I think the biggest thing is that he's not afraid to compete.

Fleck said Yinger's experience should help him make the move to college golf.

"His tournament schedule is pretty extensive and he's had a lot of success, so I think his transition into the college level is going to be pretty easy for him," the coach said

Yinger most notably was named the Greater Western Ohio Conference Player of the Year for the past three years of his high school career. He shot an average of 36 per nine holes as a senior and led Sydney to sectional titles in 2007 and 2010 as well as a conference championship in 2009.

Fleck said Yinger's accomplishments throughout his high school career were what caught his eye the most.

"I think the biggest thing it shows you is that he's pretty darn consistent," Fleck said. "That's what we look for in terms of recruiting. This kid has consistently put up low numbers and been productive from a golf perspective. Being a three-time player of the year is obviously a testament to his consistency and his ability to play golf at a pretty high level."

With seniors Eric Steger and Anthony Novak graduating in the spring, there is still a chance that Ball State will add another recruit to fill out the 2011 roster.

"Potentially, we're still looking at filling another spot," Fleck said, "but we also may evaluate our roster through the spring and address our needs there. Either way, we're in a good spot. I feel good with Zach's signing in terms of adding a really solid student-athlete to the golf program next year."