Marshall’s Kelley Commits to Pitch at UMBC


November 30 - Robert Kelley becomes the latest Marshall hurler bound for the Division I level, as the junior made his commitment earlier today to pitch at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County.

Kelley, who pitches in the offseason with the Marucci Stars travel program, made his announcement official via Twitter.

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound right-hander went 3-1 with a 1.85 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 34 innings as a sophomore last spring, earning first-team All-National District and second-team All-Region 6D honors. He was the winning pitcher in the district championship game against Edison as the Statesmen (18-5) won their fifth consecutive league title. His lone loss came in a 7-2 setback at the hands of Chantilly in the region quarterfinals.

Kelley scattered three hits and allowed one run in seven innings in Marshall’s 2-1 extra-inning win over Madison on April 9, then had a career-high 14 strikeouts over six innings in a 5-4 win over Stuart on April 30.

“He gets a lot of swings and misses because he can throw whatever he wants in any count,” Marshall coach Aaron Tarr said of Kelley, who had his fastball reach 88 MPH this fall and also boasts a plus-curveball and an efficient changeup. “He throws strikes, the command is there. He was up to 88 [MPH] this fall … he’s a reliable 84-86 guy with a good clean arm action, and he can throw all day.”

Kelley will become the eighth Marshall pitcher since Tarr’s first season in 2013 to move on to pitch at the Division I level, joining Michael Evans (James Madison), Riley Cummins (Virginia), Will Brooke (Coastal Carolina), Jamie Handley (UMBC), Nick Cintron (Cornell), Steven Johel (Coastal Carolina) and Patrick Halligan (George Mason). Johel and Halligan were members of our NOVA Nine Team in 2016 and 2018, respectively.

UMBC has added five Northern Virginia players over its previous three recruiting classes, pitcher Cameron Taylor (Heritage), catcher Reese Varley (Battlefield), infielder Blaze O’Saben (Fauquier), pitcher Trey Shepard (C.D. Hylton via Walters CC) and infielder Dylan Wilkinson (Fairfax). The Retrievers were 22-29 overall and 12-11 in the America East Conference last spring under coach Bob Mumma, who is in his eighth year.

Photo of Robert Kelley by Jim Halling