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Lakeside's Anservitz suiting up for NDC one last time

Mar. 14—Johnny Anservitz and his Notre Dame College teammates are in the early stages of the 2024 baseball campaign.

But after this season, it appears Anservitz will need to look for a new home.

NDC officials recently announced the school will close.

A statement on NDC's website read in part, "Throughout this long process, we evaluated every possible option to continue the mission of Notre Dame College," said Terri Bradford Eason, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Notre Dame College. "Our primary focus has been to ensure our students can successfully continue their education, graduate, and — in the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame — live a life of personal, professional and global responsibility."

Despite hearing rumors, Anservitz, a pitcher, was surprised at the decision.

"I was honestly shocked when they announced it," he said.

Anservitz is now one of many NDC student-athletes whose future is influx.

"I graduated last fall, but I am working toward my MBA, so I have one more season of eligibility," Anservitz said. "I'll transfer to a school that can help me get to the next level and fits with my masters program."

Anservitz is in his second season with the Falcons after starting his collegiate career at Mercyhurst.

In his short time with NDC, he has grown fond of the program and his teammates.

"I have no issue playing for a third school, but I really love the guys on this team so it will be hard saying goodbye to them," Anservitz said.

Len Barker, a former Cleveland pitcher who threw a perfect game in 1981, is the Falcons' head coach.

One of his assistants is Zak Blair, a Jefferson graduate who is currently the owner of the B2 Bulls Travel Program, and has been leading the organization since 2016.

"It means the world to be able to play for him again," Anservitz said of Blair. "He got me into college ball, and I was hoping to end strong with him, but am grateful to share any amount of time with him as my coach."

Anservitz played in the Bulls organization.

"He's was one of our main leaders at B2 for three years," Blair said. "At Notre Dame College, he's our No. 1 pitcher, he's our leader, he's our captain and he's just a great young man that's going to be successful with anything he pursues in his life because of who he is and how he approaches life.

"The ultimate hard worker and somebody I'm so glad to be with, and I know he will represent himself in our program always the right way."

Last season, Anservitz started 11 games for the Falcons and had a 1-5 record.

He pitched 48.1 innings, and struck out 46 batters, including a season high 11 against West Liberty in April.

NDC finished 12-32 overall.

The Falcons are off to a slow start in the 2024 season at 2-10, earning wins over Ohio Dominican 14-13 on March 3 and Grand Valley State 7-3 last Friday in Florida.

In the win over nationally-ranked Grand Valley State, the Falcons recorded a program-best 20 strikeouts.

Anservitz, NDC's starting pitcher, went 3.1 innings. He allowed just one run on zero hits with seven strikeouts.

"Our goals for the rest of the season are to control what we can control," Anservitz said. "We need to throw strikes effectively and string together hits to score runs."

Anservitz has made four pitching appearances, including three starts.

Blair and Anservitz's relationships extends beyond baseball.

"I'm Johnny's No. 1 fan," Blair said. "I'll be in his life for the rest of my life and the rest of his life with whatever he needs from me, I'll be there for him. I can't say enough about Johnny. He's my guy."

NDC is a Division II school which plays in the Mountain East Conference.