ABERDEEN — Four years of varsity play, hard work in class, and dedication on and off the field culminated in a nice benefit for Tyler Stanley.
A recent Colonel Richardson High graduate who started at second base on the school’s Class 1A state championship baseball team this past spring, Stanley was awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the Maryland Slow Pitch Softball Association.
Graduating with a 3.2 grade-point average, Stanley is headed to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, where he hopes to play for head coach Brian Hollamon, who spent two decades coaching at Parkside High.
In addition to the scholarship, Stanley got to throw out the first pitch at the Aberdeen Ironbirds’ game on July 27, and met Adley Rutschman, the No. 1 overall selection in this year’s major league amateur draft by the Baltimore Orioles.
“It was just a great day,” Stanley said. “I found out about it all, I guess, about June 18th-ish. I had applied for it, but then didn’t hear anything for a while. And the phone rang that day, my cell phone, and I didn’t know the number, so I didn’t answer it. But then they called my dad, and he came in my room and he had this big smile on his face.”
Ty Stanley, a longtime assistant at Colonel, informed his son of what he had received.
“Jaret Bennett (of Colonel) won it three, four years ago,” Ty Stanley said. “A boy and a girl get it every year. We didn’t know that Tyler had won it until I guess about a month ago when the guy called us.
“It was a great day. He didn’t just get to throw out the first pitch; they put us up in the clubhouse,” Ty Stanley added. “Free food, all that stuff. I’ve never been up in the clubhouse before.”
Tyler Stanley also met Rutschman that day for a photo-op.
A 21-year-old switch-hitting catcher from Oregon State, Rutschman is hoping to follow in the footsteps of players such as Mickey Tettleton. Nicknamed Froot Loops for his choice of breakfast food, Tettleton caught for the O’s from 1988-1990, playing 14 total seasons for four American League teams and blasting 245 career homers.
Rutschman’s birthday, Feb. 6, is two days after that of Colonels alum Jake Zebron, a teammate of Tyler Stanley’s for three years at Colonel. Zebron was drafted in the 18th round by the Orioles in 2018, and is currently playing in the Gulf Coast League.
“It was just a great day,” Tyler Stanley said. “I really enjoyed it. I’m proud, I’m honored to have gotten this.”
To his father, Tyler’s efforts are typical.
“For years, I’ve been telling him, ‘Work on what you’re strong at,’” Ty Stanley said. “’Then, find something that you’re weak at and start working on it.’ And Tyler’s been working on that.”
Stanley hit .318 during his high school career, with a .347 average as a senior.
He walked twice as much as he struck out (47-22), the most notable walk coming May 25 with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning of the state title game. The RBI walk pushed home the first of six runs, as Colonel defeated McDonough, 6-0 for its first state crown in 12 seasons.
Stanley registered a career on-base percentage of .485 in the role of Colonel’s leadoff hitter. He totaled 57 hits and 68 runs in 66 games.
The allure of UMES was Hollamon.
“Coach Brian Hollamon was a big reason I’m going there,” said Tyler Stanley, who’ll be majoring in computer science. “I remember him from his time coaching Parkside High, and no matter what year, they were no slouch. They were always competitive. And I think that he can help bring that program up and we can all work to make it a stronger team.”
Tyler’s mom is Rene Talino. He lives in Preston.