PHILADELPHIA, Mo. — Marion County senior Cooper Stotts will be continuing his baseball career with Quincy University.
Stotts signed his national letter-of-intent last week and will major in business at QU.
“What led me to signing with QU is how close it is to home and it being such a good school and a great atmosphere, including the coaches and students,” Stotts said. “I fell in love with it when I went to my visit.”
The left-handed senior pitcher helped anchor the Mustangs pitching staff last season, and his arsenal includes a four-seam fastball, two-seamer, curveball, slider and changeup.
Stotts finished last season with a 2.35 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 75 strikeouts in 35.2 innings pitched with only 19 walks.
“Cooper has always been a better than average pitcher,” said Marion County head coach Hank Whetstone. “I have had the privilege of coaching him since T-ball and have been blessed to be a part of his baseball career. Seeing him mature as a player and as a person has been very special for me.”
During Stotts freshman season, Marion County finished 0-15.
Stotts’ sophomore season was canceled due to the pandemic, but the Mustangs made a huge improvement his junior season, finishing 9-6.
“Cooper has improved a lot since his freshman year,” Whetstone said. “His stats alone prove that ... Cooper is a huge part of the success of the Marion County R-II baseball program.”
A big part of the Mustangs turnaround was the one-two combination of Stotts and Spencer Whetstone as the team’s primary starting pitchers.
“It’s awesome to have top-notch pitching in Class 1 baseball,” Whetstone said. “As a high school coach, I have been privileged to have two lefties and a couple of right-handers that have had lots of competitive baseball experience.”
As well as being a top pitcher, Stotts was also a strong hitter for the Mustangs last season. He led Marion County with a .429 batting average, .481 on-base percentage, .469 slugging percentage, 21 hits and 12 RBIs in 2021.
Stotts’ favorite memories of playing high school baseball at Marion County happened last spring.
“My favorite memory while playing at Marion County is when I threw a no-hitter and two one-hitters three weeks in a row and how supportive everybody on the team and community was with me,” Stotts said.
Quincy University is coming off an 29-15 season in 2021, advancing to the third round of the NCAA Midwest Regional.
Whetstone expects Stotts to be an asset for the Hawks once he starts play in the 2023 season.
“If Cooper continues to work on fundamental pitching, he should definitely give the QU coaching staff some options in their pitching decisions,” Whetstone said. “Being left-handed should definitely be a plus. Cooper is also a great outfielder that can get to the baseball with a strong arm.”
Before starting his collegiate career with the Hawks, Stotts still has one more spring high school season to compete in.
“I expect Cooper to have a great offensive season as well as pitching,” Whetstone said. “Cooper led our team in hitting last season and had the second highest number of innings pitched and threw a no-hitter last year.”