Marshall Mott leaves nothing to chance when he takes the mound.
He has prepared himself physically through his training, as well as mentally by scouring over scouting reports and trusting the game plan designed by his coaches. By the time the Gettysburg High School junior delivers his first pitch, it’s simply a matter of execution.
Mott employed that same meticulous approach when it came to making one of the biggest decisions of his young life. After careful consideration, Mott decided to accept an opportunity to continue his academic and athletic careers at the University of Pennsylvania. He made the choice on Monday evening.
“I wanted to get a good outline on the rest of my high school career and in general of what the next 4-6 years will be like,” he said. “(Penn) was the full package. If baseball doesn’t end up working out I’ll still have an Ivy League degree to back me up. I believe it was a well-rounded decision.”
Mott drew the attention of college recruiters after shining in his first two varsity seasons at Gettysburg. He was 4-1 with a 1.24 earned run average during a dazzling freshman campaign. Opponents hit just .188 off the smooth southpaw who was only scratching the surface of his potential.
Last season, Mott was a key part of Gettysburg’s dominant staff, posting a 6-2 record with a 2.62 ERA. He continued to show exceptional control with 63 strikeouts against 26 walks. For his career, Mott has fanned 96 batters and walked 37.
“He’s a bulldog,” said Gettysburg head coach Ryan Brady. “He hasn’t even pitched his junior season but I think of him as an older guy because he played as a freshman. What he’s done for us in general has been amazing at such a young age.”
Mott received significant interest from Virginia Tech after attending a camp, as well as Bucknell and Mount St. Mary’s. Penn entered the picture in earnest last weekend when Mott attended a showcase at the school. After pitching well, he took a tour of campus and was asked to throw again the following day. Mott turned in a strong inning on Sunday, which was followed by a tour of the facilities with assistant coach Josh Schwartz.
Mott’s phone rang on Monday evening, and it was Quaker head coach John Yurkow on the line. Yurkow said Penn had a roster spot available for Mott.
“He let me talk to my parents and after 20 to 30 minutes, I felt comfortable in my decision,” said Mott. “I called him back and said I’d love to play at Penn.”
Mott still has plenty of time to decide on his academic path but is leaning toward to pursuing a business degree, working in economics or entrepreneurships.
“As his coach I want what is best for him and not just baseball,” said Brady. “To go to a school at a place like Penn is an unbelievable opportunity. I think Marshall and his family mapped out what they were looking for and he got the best of both worlds. It was a very mature decision on his part.”
Following his varsity debut as a freshman, Mott said he felt stronger and more confident heading into his sophomore season. Standing at 6-foot-1, he delivers a fastball that tops out at 86-87 miles per hour. Mott has a slider that travels and an effective curveball in his arsenal, keeping even the best hitters on their heels.
He showed grit in last season’s District 3 Class 5A championship game where he toed the rubber against a Cedar Cliff squad laden with Division 1 prospects. Mott handcuffed the Colts over five innings, scattering five hits while allowing only one earned run.
“That was a tough spot in the district title game, and he didn’t flinch,” said Brady, recalling the 5-3 loss. “He gave us a chance to win. When Marshall is pitching and we score three runs we’re almost guaranteed to win, and if we don’t it’s our fault.”
Brady saw strides in Mott’s development that went beyond his impressive physical attributes.
“His freshman year he was always trying to strike guys out,” said Brady. “Marshall never wants to come off the mound and he realized that if he wanted to go seven innings, he can’t strike everybody out. He learned how to set hitters up. I think the maturity aspect was the biggest jump from year one to year two.”
Penn appears to be a program on the rise under Yurkow, who has been the head coach since 2013 after serving as an assistant for seven years. The Quakers were 23-18 overall in 2019 and are 73-48 in Ivy League play during Yurkow’s tenure.
Forty-three players have earned All-Ivy honors and nine have been selected in the Major League draft since 2013.
Mott is joining Warrior teammates Zach Ketterman and Dillon Gebler in pledging to play for NCAA Division I programs next year. Ketterman is attending Western Carolina while Gebler will enroll at New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Josh Topper, the ace of Gettysburg’s staff in 2019, has earned a spot on the High Point University roster as a freshman.
“Each individual on our team is hard-working and dedicated to our sport,” said Mott. “It’s a bright future for our program and a legacy to leave behind for the kids coming up.”