Boonsboro senior Riley Stephenson knows what his next path in baseball has in store.
Stephenson recently signed a letter-of-intent to attend Division I University of Maryland-Baltimore County, a member of the America East Conference.
The 6-foot-2 right-hander will become part of a baseball program that first-year UMBC coach Bob Mumma is trying to turn around.
“I worked hard during the offseason, throwing baseballs into nets to build up my arm strength,” said Stephenson. “I worked on mechanics, get loose and longer.”
It doesn’t hurt that he has some household experience to fall back on for a mentor.
His father, Garrett, is a former major league pitcher, having toiled with Baltimore, Philadelphia and St. Louis.
“I can remember having a glove in my hands when I was 5 and playing catch by the time I was 8,” said Stephenson.
Therefore, it’s appropriate that becoming a major league player is the goal ahead.
“It’s always been a goal,” he said. “I’m not in a hurry, don’t need to fast track. I want to be a polished pitcher getting up the ladder.”
Boonsboro coach Ben Leonard said UMBC liked the increase in his velocity this year over last year. He indicated Stephenson could see weekend starting action at UMBC next year.
“I liked the place and the opportunity to pitch is there,” said Stephenson, who is undecided on his studies.
This season at Boonsboro, Stephenson went 5-2 with a 2.24 earned run average. He allowed 39 hits in 42 innings, walked 13 and struck out 41.