For the second time in as many years, Greencastle-Antrim's baseball team is sending a player to the Division I ranks.
On Thursday, Blue Devil junior Nathan Starliper verbally committed to the University of Maryland, according to coach Eric Shaner. Staliper will officially sign with the team in November.
According to Shaner, Starliper has been a big left-handed prospect for Division I programs since coaches and scouts began attending Greencastle games to watch Gayman - and noticed Starliper's potential as a left-handed relief pitcher. Shaner also expects Starliper to have similar interest in the MLB starting next season.
"I think hes going to be pretty sought after kid," Shaner said. "He's a massive lefty at 6-foot-4 with movement on his fastball in the 90s - that doesn't grow on trees. He's a safe bet because he's a dominant bullpen guy, and he has the potential to become a dominant lefty starter, and that's more rare than a unicorn."
During his sophomore season, Starliper pitched 16.2 innings, taking three wins and a save, fanning 27 batters. His ERA was a mere 2.10 in that time and was named to the Mid Penn Colonial division second team.
"He had an arm injury his freshman year, so his development from the beginning of last year is amazing, and I can't wait for you to see him this year," Shaner said. "He's noticeably better now that his body is working together with his arm."
Starliper grew up a fan of the University of Maryland, and received a generous scholarship from the school as one of the team's top pitchers in the 2018 recruiting class.
"I've visited them a few times and I've down there to watch games," Starliper said. "I've liked Maryland since I was little, and I grew up rooting for them. They also have a really good arm program so I can continue to develop. The scholarship is good but money isn't everything. I just want to keep progressing and work harder every day. "
Starliper will move from a relief position to a starting pitcher for the 2017 season as Greencastle lost four of its six pitchers to graduation. Starliper will be joined by senior Cade Bender as the only veterans on the mound for the Blue Devils.
"I'm really hoping to step up and prove that I'm worthy of going Division I," Starliper said. "I have a curveball that's developing into a slider, and a changeup that I didn't throw last year, but I'm working on more."
Starliper joins fellow pitcher Myles Gayman at the Division I level; Gayman is currently a freshman at Penn State.