Seton Hill baseball a ‘perfect fit’ for Plum graduate Nick Stotler
Nick Stotler enjoyed playing baseball at Lock Haven, but when he graduated last year with a degree in business administration and the school didn’t offer an MBA program, he had to look elsewhere.
Stotler, a Plum native, still had one year of eligibility remaining, so he started looking to see if he could find a place that fit both his schooling needs and an opportunity to extend his playing career.
Seton Hill was a perfect fit.
Not only has Stotler been able to fulfill his goal of pursuing a master’s degree, but he’s got one last shot on the diamond with a storied program, and he’s making the most of it.
Stotler, a first baseman/outfielder, has been a fixture in the middle of the lineup for the Griffins this season, hitting .337 with eight doubles, two homers and 14 RBIs entering a weekend series with Mercyhurst that starts Saturday.
“I knew Seton Hill had an awesome program, and I knew some of the guys on the team,” Stotler said. “I got in contact with them, and everything has worked out pretty good so far.”
The opportunity to come to a Seton Hill program that won back-to-back PSAC tournament championships and made a NCAA Division II College World Series appearance in 2014 is something Stotler relished.
He knew several players and had a previous relationship with assistant coach Tyler Sullivan, whom he played with in the summer with the Butler BlueSox.
“Coming in here was kind of like being a freshman all over again,” Stotler said. “I just wanted to get to know everyone, the culture, how everyone practices and everything like that. I knew they had a strong past, having won the PSAC the last two years. I played against them both years, so I knew the competition level was pretty high here. I just wanted to fit in.”
Stotler made his presence known right away. He doubled in his third at-bat and homered in his first game, a 17-12 win at Winston-Salem State. He started the season with a six-game hitting streak, with four of those games being multi-hit efforts. He’s had a hit in 18 games and half of them he’s had two or more hits.
“I just want to come in and do my job,” Stotler said. “That’s how it’s been here, and that’s how it has to stay. Everyone has to compete every single day. You’re not given anything. You have to go out and compete, and good things will happen.”
Stotler believes this will be his final season of competitive baseball. He isn’t banking on being selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft in June, which is why he’s put an emphasis on obtaining a master’s degree.
“If it happens, that’d be awesome, but honestly I’m not expecting it,” Stotler said. “I’ll graduate with my MBA in August. I’m focused on that right now. If baseball is still there after this season that’d be great, but if not I’m sure I’ll find some softball leagues to join.”
The potential of his career ending is stoking Stotler’s fire. He wants to help the Griffins (16-14, 7-5) win a third consecutive PSAC tournament title and go beyond that to the Atlantic Regional and the College World Series.
“It makes you go out every day and give it your all,” Stotler said. “I know years from now when I look back, I’ll know I gave everything I had. I didn’t leave anything behind. That’s the biggest thing. When I’m watching college baseball five years from now, I know I’m going to miss it, but I won’t wish I could go back, because I’ll know I gave it my all.”