Zach Malis '12 of Bellmore, N.Y., plays outfield for the Brandeis baseball team. Though only three of his career hits are for extra bases, two are home runs that clinched victories in 2010. Learn more about him in this installment of Seven Questions.
1) What has been the highlight of your athletic career so far?
The highlight of my athletic career so far definitely has to be hitting the game winning homerun last season against Trinity (Texas). It was an awesome feeling to be able to put us up late in the game... [B]ig plays by our seniors shut it down in the bottom of the inning to get us our first win of the season. It was especially memorable because the game was streamed over the internet so that my friends and family around the world got to watch the game and later on I heard some called in to the announcers saying congratulations to the team and me. I’ll never forget the excitement and thrill that I felt during and after that game and being able to share it with my teammates in a victory.
2) What makes your team special?
Our team has a special chemistry. Like many teams it becomes a brotherhood. From seniors down to the freshman, on and off the field we look out for each other and know that there’s always someone around who has your back in whatever aspect you may need them. Being able to say that you are a college varsity athlete comes with the responsibility and sacrifice necessary to achieve the common goal that the team has for itself: to win.
3) How do your experiences on the field translate to the class room/world?
For one, it furthers your ability to work efficiently and successfully with other people towards a common goal. Also, being a student–athlete creates the necessity to manage your time well. It’s important to be able to maintain good grades and academic standing while also giving the team everything you got from an athletic standpoint. But, most importantly I think that the position a baseball player puts himself in, where success and failure are consistently put in the balance. A baseball player is considered successful if he gets 3 hits for every 10 at-bats. It’s a small percentage of perceived success that can come with substantially more times of failure but, just like in life, it is those times that define you.
4) What is your favorite class and why?
My favorite class so far had to be Conspiracy in American Culture with Professor [Jerry] Cohen. Every day was another interesting topic, whether historic assassinations or infamous crimes. I learned about past events and crimes in a detail I never knew before and it was a lot of fun to get more knowledge especially from Professor Cohen. His enthusiasm and love for the subject helped the class run smoothly and helped everyone to do well.
5) What is your favorite non-athletic activity at Brandeis and why?
My favorite non-athletic activity at Brandeis is being a fan. When we are not playing our own sport we are out at the games watching the other varsity teams. Being courtside watching the basketball teams and later the softball team make their own run to NCAAs was a great time and experience. All the athletes coming together with the rest of the student body to cheer on the varsity teams shows what being part of the Brandeis Community is really about.
6) What are your aspirations after Brandeis?
After Brandeis I hope to continue to play baseball abroad and then either apply to graduate school, either law or business, or go right into the business world. I’ve become interested in real estate lately and have always been interested in criminal law.
7) What is something surprising we might not know about you?
I was a four-sport varsity athlete in High School (football, soccer, basketball, and baseball).