By Jeff Nations
This promised to be a huge summer for Shenandoah University's Tyler Hott.
The former Strasburg High School standout had split time between the Hornets' varsity and junior varsity teams, continuing to show his versatility by pitching and also logging innings at both shortstop and in the outfield.
It was that versatility that ultimately helped Hott land a spot on Shenandoah's 25-man roster for the NCAA regionals and could continue to be his ticket to playing time in the future.
But for the summer, at least, Hott focused most of his energies on one area -- pitching. That paid off, too, as Hott was named the Rockingham County Baseball League's Pitcher of the Year on Thursday.
Shenandoah baseball coach Kevin Anderson is expecting Hott to be a big factor in his plans for next year's team, and putting in regular work on the field and in the weight room during the summer will only help his chances
"We were a very veteran-oriented pitching staff last year, and really a veteran-oriented team," Anderson said. "He split time between varsity and junior varsity and got better throughout the year. You could see him coming into his own as a pitcher and as a player."
Hott, who pitches for the RCBL's Luray Cavemen, was unavailable for comment Thursday as his team faced the Clover Hill Bucks in a second-round playoff game.
During the regular season, Hott put up outstanding numbers for the Cavemen. In 12 games pitches including eight starts, the right-hander posted a 6-1 record in 61 2/3 innings. He compiled a sparkling 2.48 earned run average with one complete-game shutout. Hott finished with 47 strikeouts.
At Shenandoah, Hott pitched in just one varsity game as a reliever and played in four games total. He drew a walk in his lone at bat for the Hornets.
Hott's performance in the RCBL could be a real eye-opener for Anderson and his staff, but for now the plan is to let Hott continue to split time. He's listed as a utility player on the Hornets' roster.
"He wants to continue to do both, and we support that decision," Anderson said. "He's probably a natural shortstop, but he's a very good athlete who can play in the outfield for us. He's just a baseball player."
Contact staff writer Jeff Nations at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or firstname.lastname@example.org