Opening night, Saturday Feb. 16, ORU baseball welcomed to the plate a newly healthy senior out-fielder Nick Rotola for his last season. Nearly a full year ago Rotola suffered a season-ending injury, earning him a medical hardship wavier for the rest of the 2017 season.
“I broke my arm running into the fence trying to catch a ball on game 15 against Dallas Baptist,” said Rotola. “Everything has fallen into place in my life in a way that is obviously from the Lord. Everything great in my life I owe to him.”
Prior to ORU, the Michigan native spent his freshman year engulfed in Eastern Michigan University baseball, starting in 41 games there, and playing in a full 48 for the Michigan Eagles who went 19-34 during Rotola’s season.
In 2015 he was recruited by ORU and came to the school in hopes to work on a master’s degree in business administration/marketing after completing his bachelors. The senior will complete both in five and a half years.
Although he spent his first year at ORU redshirting, his second year as a Golden Eagle was full of career highs. In 2016 he earned Second Team All-Summit League honors and tournament MVP at the Championship game, after hitting two home runs at the tournament. In the same year he was one of two members of the team to start every game at their position, and finished third in total with a .319 average, 16 doubles and three home runs. That same year he held a .419 slugging percentage.
“Whenever you have a major injury as an athlete it teaches you a lesson in humility and in appreciation of the game you play,” said Rotola. “Spending a year watching all your friends and teammates accomplishing great things is bittersweet in that it creates an itch and desire to get back onto the field.”
As his final season begins on J.L. Johnson stadium going 2-for-4 at the plate, chasing down five fly balls in center field and a run scored in the third.
“My plan moving forward is to be where my feet are. If I spend time with the Lord each day and focus on my daily routine I believe that I’ll be successful,” said Rotola. “I’m 3 months away from an MBA, I’m engaged to the love of my life, and I’m a part of the greatest baseball program in the country. Life’s good.”