By: Eric Samulski
In a continued quest to add a calming veteran presence to the 2014 roster, the Dutchmen signed two battle-tested arms to provide depth to their pitching staff. Adding experience to the starting rotation will be Susquehanna junior Spencer Hotaling, while Illinois junior Josh Ferry, will provide the same for the bullpen.
A 6’3” junior from Selingsgrove, Pennsylvania, Hotaling proved to be a dominant force last year as a sophomore for the Crusaders. The right-hander threw 60.1 innings, allowing 55 hits and walking only 14 batters on his way to compiling a 2.69 ERA. Hotaling continued his success during the 2013 summer, where he played for the Swamp Vipers in the Myrtle Beach Collegiate Baseball League and finished second in the league in both WHIP and strikeouts, while also throwing a no-hitter. It seems to have marked the breakout for the lanky righty, who also is the kicker for the school’s football team, as he has returned to Susquehanna as the ace, posting a 3-2 record in 55 innings pitched so far this season, allowing only 41 hits on his way to a 2.62 ERA and a .212 batting average against.
Joining Hotaling on the staff will be fellow junior, Josh Ferry. The Lemont, Illinois product came to the University of Illinois after being named the number 19 overall prospect, and 10th ranked pitcher, in the state in 2011. He was named a Class 3A All-State pitcher by the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association in 2010 and 2011 and was selected to the USSSA All-American team in 2009-10 and the USA Midwest Great Lakes team in 2009. As a freshman, Ferry made eleven appearances, including six starts, and compiled a 3-1 record, while striking out 22 batters in 39 innings and allowing a .265 batting average by opposing hitters. Transitioning to the bullpen over the last two seasons, Ferry has been effective on a team that continues to put forward stellar overall pitching performances and holds a team ERA of 3.11. Proven as both a starter and a reliever, Ferry figures to be a major asset for the Dutchmen this summer.
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