Trail AA Orioles pitcher Austin Tambellini will take his game to the next level after the Nelson native was awarded a scholarship to play baseball at Hill College in Hillsboro Texas.
“It’s a big relief, finally all the hard work is finally paying off,” said Tambellini.
Following a selection to work out with Team Canada U-18 team at the 2014 Latin American Baseball Classic in the Dominican Republic in August of last year, Tambellini began correspondence with the college via email.
““It was an awesome experience, there was a lot of good competition out there,” said Tambellini. “I emailed them (Hill College) just to get the word out, and they contacted me back and we talked back and forth for a little bit and eventually they asked me to come down.”
The invite from the U-18 Team was precipitated by a You Tube video of the Nelson native in a nondescript gymnasium throwing ball after ball with nothing but the sound of an intermittent thwack of the baseball hitting the catcher’s mitt. Shortly after the video went live, Tambellini received a phone call from Team Canada with an invite to the camp that was attended by a number of college and professional scouts.
AA Orioles Coach Kyle Mace is proud of the 17-year-old and says it is a well-deserved result from a lot of years of practice and development.
“He’s a tall lanky lefty, six-foot-three, 170 pounds, and he can go get 85, and he’s just going to get better and better down there,” said Mace. “He’s got a great opportunity.”
Tambellini, also a good student, plans to continue to do what has brought him success and earned him the scholarship to the Texas college.
“I’ll just try to work hard, there’s always things to work on, and you have to work on all aspects of the game,” said Tambellini. “I’ll just try to get as many innings as possible this summer, and then go down there and hopefully it all works out.”