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Family around him, Bennett Hostetler watched a movie in hopes of finding distraction from the impending moment which may change his life forever or may not happen at all.

Hostetler, back in his hometown of Bozeman, was waiting to find out if he would be taken in the MLB Draft. The first couple days and initial rounds had passed. Hostetler’s father, Troy, had a tracker on his phone, constantly providing updates from the draft. He admitted he was handling the moment worse than anyone.

The Hostetlers never finished that movie. They were too sidetracked by the exhilaration when Bennett’s name appeared on his father’s phone.

Moments later, he received the call he was waiting for. The former North Dakota State shortstop and Summit League player of the year was selected with the 17th pick in the 18th round, 539th overall, by the Miami Marlins on Tuesday.

“It was a little bit of a waiting game for most of yesterday and most of today,” Hostetler told the Chronicle on Tuesday afternoon. “I’m glad that it happened. I’m glad I’m onto my next chapter of my life. I’m ready to go, and I’m excited to get going with it.”

Hostetler was in consistent communication with the Marlins organization, including the scout he worked out for at a Missoula Paddleheads facility this summer. They called to ask how he felt and if any other teams had expressed interest, but none had yet. Early Tuesday, Hostetler said he was told the Marlins were considering taking him, knowing “a lot of things could change.”

Another team called Hostetler on Tuesday, Troy said. When Hostetler relayed that information to the Marlins, he was chosen soon after.

“It’s really taxing on your brain, trying to pay attention to your phone at all times because you’re waiting for a phone call from somebody and then trying to relax and not let emotions get the best of you,” Hostetler said. “Whatever is going to happen is going to happen, and I was going to be happy with it.”

Hostetler said he didn’t know for certain he would be taken until his name showed up on his father’s phone. He was elated to be taken by the organization that had shown a lot of interest.

“As each round goes by, you get a little anxious,” Troy, who coached his son before college, said. “A little bit of relief and excitement when his name pops up on the tracker.”

Hostetler said he “of course” feels proud to represent Bozeman. To be back in his hometown and finding out he was drafted was “a dream come true.”

“All of the weekends when I was younger in a car with my parents, going to travel ball tournaments, the long season of Legion in the summer and obviously my five years at NDSU all leading up to this,” Hostetler said, “it’s 100% worth it.”

Troy felt “really proud” of his son’s work ethic and how he responded to adverse situations throughout his career.

“I think he still has room to grow as a player,” Troy said. “He’s no longer in school, so it’s just baseball. He can get work in every day and have weather that’s nice and facilities and resources that are nice. … All those things are going to help him take a jump in productivity as a player.

“I’m just happy he has an opportunity,” Troy added. “That’s exciting. (His family will) just let him know we’re always there for him.”

As of Wednesday, Hostetler knew he would board a plane by Thursday, but he was unsure where his destination resided. It’s possible he could be on his way to the Low-A affiliate Jupiter (Florida) Hammerheads, who have a series at Fort Myers this week.

“All I know is I’m going down to play baseball,” Hostetler said, “and that’s all I need to know.”

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Colton Pool can be reached at or 406-582-2690. Follow him on Twitter @CPoolReporter.

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