After completing a two-year career at Cerritos College, sophomore outfielder Rollie Nichols will continue his playing career at the University of Washington. The two-time 1st Team All-South Coast Conference selection will be walking on as a member of a Husky team that advanced to the College World Series this year. Nichols believes his versatility and dedication to improving is what the Washington staff liked about him the most.
"The coaches have made it clear that I will have the opportunity to earn some scholarship money for my senior year at UW, which motivates me to work hard and have success during my first year as a Husky," said Nichols, who is spending the summer playing in Alaska. " I am going in to primarily be a right fielder next year however, Head Coach Lindsay Meggs spoke to me during my visit and told me that he likes my versatility and ability to play other positions. I plan on following any plan the coaches have and doing my best to stay sharp at any position that they ask me to play."
In a season where Nichols batted .305, led the team in walks (27) and stolen bases (10), he also shared the team lead with four home runs, along with driving in 28 runs. Nichols also saw time at both center field and at second base after an injury to shortstop Ramon Bramasco foced several players to change positions. He made just one error in 35 fielding changes at second base, while he concluded the season with a .970 fielding percentage and four outfield assists.
Nichols, who made his decision to transfer to the University of Washinton prior to the start of the Falcons season, was enamored by the campus and Seattle during his visit. "I chose the University of Washington because I felt they showed the most interest in me as a player, and when I visited the campus I fell in love. The city of Seattle is amazing and the facilities available to the student-athletes at UW are second to none. Although the amazing facilities and availability of top of the line coaches were very enticing, the main reason I am choosing to go to UW is that they are giving me the best opportunity to earn a starting spot at a top level Division I program.
Spending the summer playing for the Alaska Goldpanners, who are currently 12-4, Nichols recently had a game where he went 5-for-6 with nine RBI and even pitched one inning. Through the first 16 games, he's batting .281 with 14 RBI and 10 walks and is currently on a six-game hitting streak.
"Being in Alaska has been an incredible experience this summer," added Nichols. "Fairbanks is a very small town but the people there love the Goldpanners. We have fans young and old asking us for autographs after the games, people yelling "Go Panners!" to us around the city, and it gives you a sense of what it's like to play on a bigger stage. The competition has been good and I feel it is helping me prepare for my next two years at Washington. I am excited for the rest of this summer, my first year at UW in the fall, and I thank the coaching staff at Cerritos, my teammates and my family for helping me live out my dreams."
Nichols was a huge factor in the Falcons winning the South Coast Conference South Division championship and earning the #1-seed for the Southern California Regional Playoffs. He collected at least one hit in 32 of the team's 44 games and had a four-hit game against Compton College and five three-hit contests.
"Being a Bird at Cerritos and playing under Coach Gaylord were the best two years of my life and I wouldn't trade them for anything," said Nichols. "I matured as a baseball player and a young man after playing for Coach Gaylord and learned that nothing will be handed to me but if I work hard and play the game the right way I can find success. He helped me focus on the positives and not dwell on the negative aspects of the game. Coach Gaylord always reminded me to trust my abilities and have fun when I would get frustrated and found myself trying to do too much."
June 28, 2018 Baseball: Rollie Nichols to walk-on at Washington
June 26, 2018 Baseball: Signings continue with Falcons
May 11, 2018 Baseball: Backs against the wall after playoff loss
May 1, 2018 Baseball: Sweep of awards for Falcons
April 29, 2018 Baseball: Falcons seeded #1 for SoCal Playoffs
April 26, 2018 Baseball: Lead gets away from Falcons on one-run loss
April 24, 2018 Baseball: Winning run comes home on wild pitch
April 21, 2018 Baseball: Falcons slam their way to division title
April 19, 2018 Baseball: One-run loss fifth of the season for Falcons
April 14, 2018 Baseball: Win keeps Falcons in first place
April 13, 2018 Baseball: Loss to LA Harbor drops team into first place tie
April 10, 2018 Baseball: Rodriguez long ball gives Falcons 3-2 win
April 9, 2018 Baseball: Suspended game results in 6-0 loss
April 7, 2018 Baseball: Falcons finish off Compton to sweep series
April 5, 2018 Baseball: Micah Hee strikes out 10 in Falcons win
April 3, 2018 Baseball: Nick Penzetta makes a big splash in his return
March 29, 2018 Baseball: Road trip ends with 7-4 win
March 28, 2018 Baseball: Altered starting pitching pays off in win
March 27, 2018 Baseball: First game of road trip ends in loss
March 26, 2018 Baseball: Gilbert Romero tosses 3-hit shutout in Falcons win
March 24, 2018 Baseball: Offensive output helps Falcons snap skid
March 17, 2018 Baseball: Comeback slips away in loss
March 15, 2018 Baseball: Missed opportunities result in 4-3 loss
March 12, 2018 Baseball: Extra inning runs result in 6-4 defeat
March 6, 2018 Baseball: Cerritos busts open game in 14-1 win
March 3, 2018 Baseball: Quality start leads to shutout win
February 28, 2018 Baseball: Winning run scores on wild pitch
February 24, 2018 Baseball: Cerritos comes back for 5-2 win over Palomar
February 21, 2018 Baseball: Late inning runs leads to fourth one-run win
February 20, 2018 Baseball: Falcons pull away for 7-3 win
February 17, 2018 Baseball: Seven extra base hits pace Falcons in win
February 15, 2018 Baseball: Walk-off hit gives Falcons 4-3 win
February 14, 2018 Baseball: Late rally comes up short for Falcons
February 13, 2018 Baseball: Offensive explosion leads to 20-7 victory
February 10, 2018 Baseball: Team rebounds from loss with win
February 9, 2018 Baseball: Golden West scores three in ninth to beat Falcons
February 8, 2018 Baseball: Clutch hitting and pitching leads Falcons
February 6, 2018 Baseball: Shutout gem turned in by Falcons
February 1, 2018 Baseball: Second game in a row suspended due to darkness
January 30, 2018 Baseball: Suspended game ends in 6-5 Falcon win
January 26, 2018 Baseball: Falcons open the season with 5-2 win