Somerset’s Hunter Krotzer helped the Golden Eagles win their first district championship since 2014 a year ago.
The 5-foot-11 senior will be a key cog for coach Jimmy Mayer’s staff again this year if the Golden Eagles repeat as champions.
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Krotzer will be able to demonstrate his talent after the end of the season without worrying. On Tuesday, Krotzer announced his commitment to Indiana University of Pennsylvania Division II, where he will play as the preferred walk-on for coach Steve Kline and the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference’s Crimson Hawks.
“It feels great,” Krotzer said of his commitment. “A lot of weight has come off my shoulders. Now it’s time to get to work and win another district championship.”
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IUP is not far from Somerset. This is just one of the many attractions presented by Krotzer University.
“When I came onto campus, I felt right at home,” Krotzer said. “Everyone was very nice when I went on the tour with the coach. There are also a few majors that interest me there.”
Krotzer, who has a GPA of 3.3 at Somerset, has yet to decide on a major at IUP. He is President of the Student Council, Head of Student Affairs and a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Somerset. He was also a former member of the swim team.
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The southpaw went 2-0 with a 1.62 ERA in three starts and five appearances as a junior. Under the stewardship of a new coaching staff, he made great strides last season.
“It was nice to have Bob Mayer (Somerset’s assistant manager) with us,” said Krotzer. “We threw bullpens twice a week. (Somerset Strength and Conditioning Coach) Dave Polcha was also a great help. We lifted every day at 8 a.m. in the summer. The lifting helped me a lot, as did the coaching staff’s confidence in me. Being on the left side means I have a pretty good cutter and control now. “
Krotzer thanks his parents, Craig and Kelly, for always being there for him, the Somerset American Legion baseball program, and the high school team, coaches, and weight room staff. He’s excited about what’s in store for him after graduation.
“I’m looking forward to playing with new teammates, making new friends and having fun at IUP,” said Krotzer.
Jimmy Mayer, who was in his first season at the helm of his alma mater in 2022, saw Krotzer’s dedication to improving his craft in the offseason and throughout the 23-game season in which the Golden Eagles went 15-8.
“I saw a kid who did everything they could to become a better pitcher,” Mayer said. “He did everything we asked of him in the weight room too – not just in terms of pitching. He embodies what hard work, dedication and commitment can do for you.
“He’s improved so much and I can’t wait to see what he does this spring. The program is just so proud of him for having the opportunity to compete at the college level.”
Krotzer is someone Mayer will be relying on heavily this spring to log innings and be a ball club leader.
“He has a bulldog mentality. Nothing bothers him,” Mayer said. “He drove you crazy at times as a coach with his deep inclusion of batsmen in the count, but his command has improved so much. His failures are so much smaller. He throws punches and keeps the ball down. He’ll get a lot from people out there and he’ll be fun to watch. Nothing can upset him. He can go 3-0 and hit back. That’s a big advantage for him on the hill.
Adam Ripple is the sports editor of the Daily American. He can be reached at 814-444-5926. Follow him on Twitter @ARipple_DAsport. Follow Daily American Sports on Facebook and @dailyamericanmedia on Instagram.