Ertter jumps at perfect fit
EBENSBURG— Wednesday marked the initial day in which high school athletes could sign their national letter of intent for any NCAA program, and for one local baseball star, he was quick to put the stamp on where to continue his career.
Bishop Carroll senior Carson Ertter, a 5-10, 160-pound outfielder, signed his national letter of intent to dress for the Nittany Lions in 2020.
While he had other inquiries from Division I schools, taking his talents to State College made the most sense for him.
“I chose Penn State because it has always been my dream to play Division I college baseball,” Ertter said. “When I went on my visit, I knew this was the place for me. All of the coaches were great, and the facilities were second-to-none.”
The proximity to his hometown of Ebensburg and a strong academic program were also a priority for the left-handed batter and thrower.
While he is still undecided on his major, he is leaning towards majoring in engineering.
“By going to Penn State, it will give my parents a chance to come and watch me play,” Ertter said. “Also, getting a Penn State degree will greatly benefit me in the future. When I got this opportunity, I could not pass it up.”
In his junior year with the Huskies baseball team, Ertter made his mark both at the plate and on the mound.
The former All-Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference star had a .382 batting average in 2018, picking up 13 hits and nine runs.
A Mirror First-Team Baseball All-Star in 2018, Ertter also contributed in the circle as well, posting a 2.66 ERA in 26.1 innings pitched.
The Nittany Lions baseball team had a historically horrible 2018. Penn State finished the year 15-24 overall and 3-21 in the Big Ten, which was ranked worst in the conference.
While Ertter excelled as a pitcher with the Huskies, he expects to primarily play in the outfield with Penn State.
He said when the opportunity arises, stepping in and making a difference with Penn State will be his goal.
“I’m an athletic outfielder,” Ertter said. “I will be able to cover a lot of ground in the outfield, and I can swing pretty well too. Whether I’m playing or not next year, or when it is my chance to play, I’ll be the best teammate that I can.”
Even though his letter is signed and sealed with a departure for Happy Valley imminent, the Nittany Lion recruit still has another spring of baseball yet to play.
Now that the level of competition will increase drastically as he enters Division I competition, he said that there are several areas of his game in which he needs to improve upon during his senior year of high school baseball.
“I have to improve all around and get better at just about everything,” Ertter said. “I have to get bigger, I have to get better, I have to get stronger because all of those guys up there are just as good and even better than me. So, I have to keep working hard to try to get a spot.”
One person who will be guiding Ertter in his transition to Division I baseball is his high school coach, Bill Schenk.
While he admitted there were areas of Ertter’s game that could be refined, he was quick to point out the hitting ability that Ertter possesses.
“He’s a strong hitter,” Schenk said. “Whenever he’s a hitter, he gets it all throughout the field. He’s working on his leadership and can help the younger kids and show them what needs to be done to play in the next level.”
After a 4-12 season in 2018, the Huskies look to right the ship and turn the program this spring.
Schenk said that while he is excited for what is ahead of the future Nittany Lion, Ertter will play a key role for his team this year.
“I’m very excited for him to be able to go on and play in the next level,” Schenk said. “Moving his talents up to the collegiate level will really be a benefit for him, but he has really been a benefit for the younger players that are in our program as well.”