Calvert’s Deats heading to Kent State

PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE Calvert High School's Peyton Deats signs a national letter of intent to play baseball at Kent State University during a ceremony at the school Tuesday afternoon. He is surrounded by Brian Rothrock (left), Calvert's baseball coach, and his parents, Brian and Traci Deats.

When Calvert pitcher Peyton Deats signed his national letter of intent to pitch at Kent State University, it capped a rather remarkable week for area left-handed hurlers.

The senior joined New Riegel pitchers Michael Kirian and Alex Theis, who signed to pitch at Louisville and Ohio State, respectively.

Deats said he’s been playing with Kirian and Theis since he was 9-years-old.

“It’s always been each of our dreams to get to this point,” he said. “To watch those two sign last week, and then, me today, it’s just incredible to see the three of us accomplish our goals.”

Deats’ coach, the Senecas Brian Rothrock, said it was rather remarkable. In his remarks to an assembly of students Tuesday, Rothrock said that on average, one out of every 49 kids can play at D-I.

“If you think about it, one out of 49 kids can make it to this level,” Rothrock said. “Well, if you combine the graduating class of Calvert and the graduating class of New Riegel, we might not get to 49 (kids), even. And we got three of them. That says a lot about Seneca County.”

As for Deats, he joins a top Mid-American Conference program. The Golden Flashes won the conference title last season and reached the World Series in 2012. When asked what appealed to him about Kent State, Deats said it was the bond he developed with the coaches.

“They really made me feel a part of their program, and they really expressed to me… they made me feel at home,” Deats said. “With their record of winning, I kind of wanted to be in that winning atmosphere and in that program.”

Deats said he started to believe he could be a Division I pitcher after his sophomore season.

“I was getting calls from Division I coaches, and that’s when it really hit me, like, ‘wow, I can really make this dream a reality,'” he said. Rothrock has coached some top area pitchers, including Hopewell-Loudon graduate Logan Sendelbach, who is now in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

Rothrock said what separates Deats — and all the top players — is a simple thing.

“The work ethic,” Rothrock said. “If you look at any of those guys who you list that are from this area that are going to those next levels, it’s the work ethic and the time commitment they had to put in for that. It doesn’t just come. Yes, (Deats) was blessed to be a left-handed pitcher, and a left-handed pitcher that could throw in the mid-80s on a consistent basis. That is a blessing. God blessed him with that one. But to be able to now take that blessing and to have that work ethic to say, ‘This is a goal I have and I want to achieve it,’ I think that’s a common theme in all of those kids who can go to the next level.”

But before he gets to that next level, Deats said he has some work left at Calvert.

“I’m just really trying to make the most of (my) senior season,” Deats said. “We have big goals for not only the season but for the tournament afterwards.”

And at Kent State?

“I’m hoping to get pitching time my freshman year and hopefully by sophomore year be one of the everyday starters for them,” he said.