COVID-19 sent all Piedmont student athletes home until this fall, but for some athletes there will be no return.
Each NCAA spring sport athlete was given an extra year of eligibility so seniors could return, but for two Piedmont baseball players, returning was not an option.
Will Janofsky and Nate Rotenberger played on the 2019 Lion’s baseball club. Both were seniors and had played on the team the past three seasons.
Janofsky had a huge impact during his time at Piedmont as a late-inning
, posting a 1.33 ERA and striking out 21. Janofsky was named twice to the USA South All-Academic Team (2017, 2018).
“The biggest reason for not returning is that I was ready to start developing my professional career and take that next step in my life,” Janofsky said.
The decision was easy for Rotenberger, too. “I graduated at the end of the spring and got accepted into PT school,” he said. “It wasn’t much of a decision. Returning was out of the picture, my time at Piedmont was over.”
Rotenberger came on strong his senior year, becoming a regular member of the Lions rotation. For his career, the pitcher posted a 3.45 ERA through four starts, striking out 12. He was a three-time USA South All-Academic player (2017, 2018, 2019).
Although the decisions were easy to make, both said they will really miss their time on the field.
“I’ll miss cutting up with all my teammates, cracking too many jokes, and the grind of preparing for competition,” Rotenberger said. “I always loved getting better with all my teammates and just having fun.”
Janofsky said he will also miss his teammates, as well as the Piedmont campus. “I’ll miss Mrs. Melba in the caf, along with the comradery with the guys and the competitive atmosphere that was always involved with the team,” he said.
Both athletes likely saw their last competitive action on the field as players, a feeling that isn’t lost on Rotenberger. “I’ll miss the competition aspect of the game,” he said.
. “The thrill of standing on the mound with the ball in your hand is such a powerful feeling and I’ll forever wish I could throw one more pitch.”