VERMILION — Amherst’s Justin Mott had no idea.
Mott received one of the best surprises of his life Saturday when he was named Lorain County’s Mr. Baseball before the senior all-star games at Vermilion High School.
“It’s a good feeling,” Mott said. “I didn’t even think I was in the running for it or wasn’t going to be getting this award. I thought it would go to someone else, but it came to me and I’m really happy. It feels good to get this in my last game as a high school player.”
Mott was dominant on the mound this season, going 3-0 with eight saves and 40 strikeouts in 28 innings. His ERA was 0.50, the lowest in school history, and his 1.42 career ERA ranks second all-time at Amherst.
Mott, who will continue his baseball career at Bowling Green, also batted .295 with five doubles, two home runs and 25 RBIs and threw out 18 of 32 baserunners as a catcher.
“It’s really cool,” said Mott, who was also a first-team All-Lorain County and Southwestern Conference selection, as well as a Mizuno All-Ohio pick.
“I’ve been dreaming about playing varsity baseball all my life and I got to do it all four years. I’m on top of Lorain County right now. It feels really good to be able to take this and go into Bowling Green next year.
“I came up here last year and watched Griffin (Weir) play in this game and I saw Eric (Lauer) win this award and said, ‘I want that award next year.’ It came true.”
Mott leaves Amherst ranked in the top 10 in school history in hits, stolen bases, RBIs and ERA. He struck out just nine times in 272 career at-bats.
“I think it’s really cool that I’m actually going to be in the record books,” Mott said. “I was in the record books my sophomore year for so many RBIs (seven) in a game and this year I’m in it three more times. It’ll be cool to look back on later in life when I’m done playing baseball.”
As a junior, Mott batted .313 with four doubles, one home run and 14 RBIs. He went 1-0 with three saves and finished with a 0.77 ERA in 18 innings. As a sophomore, he batted .357 with six doubles, one triple, two home runs and 34 RBIs. He also picked up three saves.
Amherst coach Matt Rositano coached Mott since his freshman year, when Rositano led the junior varsity. He was Mott’s varsity coach the past two seasons.
“It’s great for him and it’s great for the program,” Rositano said. “This is the first Mr. Baseball we’ve had since Antone DeJesus, who won it for us in 2004. It’s a fantastic honor for him. It’s an attribute to how hard he’s worked the last four years.
“The first thing that stands out with Justin is when he’s behind the plate, he has a cannon for an arm. We’ve had him at a 1.84 pop time, which is right up there with the major leagues. And for being a little kid (5-foot-9), he’s deceptively powerful. I think Bowling Green is going to be really happy with Justin the next four years.”
Contact Steve Walker at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.