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Bodtorf to play baseball at PSU-DuBois

MC standout ready for senior season

Sentinel file photo by MATT STRICKER
Mifflin County’s Colby Bodtorf has stood out as a leader for the Mifflin County baseball program for years and his dynamic skillset caught the attention of college coaches. Bodtorf committed to PSU-DuBois to continue his academic and playing career following graduation this year.

LEWISTOWN — Few players have burst onto the scene in the same way that Mifflin County’s Colby Bodtorf has in recent seasons.

This summer, Bodtorf became one of the best players in the 2020 Summer Independent League as a top-tier shortstop and a clear-cut ace on the mound.

His skillset helped power the Mifflin County baseball team to a 17-5 record, a Central Penn Division Independent League Tournament title and a berth in the regional tournament in Hollidaysburg.

Bodtorf’s numbers were staggering both on the mound and at the plate, drawing the interest of multiple college coaches. Bodtorf became the fourth member of Mifflin County’s senior class to commit to Penn State-DuBois, while also becoming the fifth member of the Huskies to commit to play collegiate baseball following graduation.

“It means a lot to play at the next level, it was something that I have dreamed of since I was a kid,” Bodtorf said, who will join Connor Cherry, Bryce Dobson and Cole Knable at Penn State-DuBois. “I’m really excited that I get to keep playing with them through college. I am very good friends with all three of them and can’t wait to see what we can all accomplish at the collegiate level.”

While his current teammates helped lead Bodtorf to the Lions, he said that his decision was based largely on the culture that exists within the program.

“I decided to go to DuBois because I really enjoyed talking to the coaches and it is really a family type environment there,” Bodtorf said.

Bodtorf possesses many attributes that made him attractive to college coaches, including his unique ability to hit and get on base. Utilized primarily in the leadoff spot, Bodtorf picked up 31 hits in just 86 plate appearances, compiling a .449 batting average, while reaching base at a staggering .558 clip.

He scored 27 runs, stole 12 bases and had six doubles for Mifflin County this past summer.

“Since I have known him and watched him play, he has been a kid that goes out there with that blue-collar work ethic,” Mifflin County coach John McGonigle said. “You hear about someone hitting gap to gap, well with Colby, you have a kid that literally goes foul line to foul line. He is such a great hitter that understands every situation of the game and what his job is. His vision and awareness at the plate allows him to be the hitter he is. You put a hit and run on and he will hit it where he is supposed to. You need the guy on second to get over to third, he is going to pull the ball and, in most situations, drive him in. He is just such a complete hitter.”

As a pitcher, Bodtorf had similar success as Mifflin County’s top arm. In any big game, it’s a given that he will be on the mound at some point. In 32 innings of work, Bodtorf allowed just 10 runs and pitched to a 1.09 ERA with 21 punch outs.

“Colby wants the ball in big games. He loves being in those situations and going up against the best,” McGonigle said. “It brings out the best of him in those types of games. He has the ability to ramp it up and throw it past guys, but at the same time, he can slow things down with his off speed and make guys miss. He has a plus curveball and change-up and is not afraid to throw it in any count. He always has that chip on his shoulder and wants to prove himself every time out. When he has it going, you just sit back and take it all in.”

At shortstop, Bodtorf has been an anchor in the field. Bodtorf will most likely compete as a two-way player for the Lions.

“He is just so smooth at shortstop. Even the tough plays he makes looks so easy at times,” McGonigle said. “There are a couple of things that stand out defensively about him. He has such great vision and a quick first step that allows him to expand his already great range. Then the ability to come up after making a play in the hole or up the middle and throw a strike across the infield really lets you see the accuracy and arm strength he possesses.”

Few players have the clutch gene that Bodtorf possesses, as the senior’s ability to get a big hit or put together a shutdown inning makes him stand out. He credits them as learning experiences that have helped him become a better player.

“I believe being in those pressure situations has really helped me out because they have taught me that you don’t always have to do it yourself,” Bodtorf said. “There will always be another guy behind you ready for their chance as well and I think they helped me stay patient and never try to do it by myself.”

Bodtorf, similar to his teammates, said that his favorite memory from his high school playing career has been defeating State College as a sophomore after trailing by five entering the final inning. His goal for his senior year, also aligns with his teammates’ goals.

The way he leads in his actions is highly regarded by teammates and coaches.

“He is just so down to earth and wants to do what’s best for the team,” McGonigle said. “He always leads by example. You see him make a play or watch how he carries himself; he wants no credit at all for anything. To him, he is just out there playing a game he loves to the best of his ability. He is a blue-collar ball player and I think that is a great way to describe him.”

McGonigle believes that Bodtorf will make an immediate impact when he steps on campus for the Lions.

“Penn State-DuBois is getting another good one from Mifflin County,” he said. “I think you are going to see another success story coming out of Mifflin County with Colby. I think he is going to get a chance to make an impact with them right away in the infield and on the mound. No doubt he will continue to be a student of the game and add to his skillset.

“The entire Mifflin County High School coaching staff would like to congratulate Colby and his family on his commitment to Penn State-DuBois. We look forward to watching him compete at the next level and wish him nothing but the best.”

Bodtorf thanked his support system and coaches for helping him become the player he is today.

“I would like to thank all of my coaches and family for everything that they have done to help me get to where I am,” he said.

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