Kingston standout to play at St. Bonaventure
Kingston star Tyler Kelder signs Division I letter to attend St. Bonaventure, pursue career in medicine
Tyler Kelder has his future all arranged.
Kingston High’s All-Star corner infielder signed his National Letter of Intent to attend St. Bonaventure College to play Division I baseball and also set in motion a career in medicine.
The Bonnies, who went 26-22-1 last season and compete in the tough Atlantic 10 Conference, are no strangers to the Hudson Valley.
“In the past there have been some guys that have gone to St. Bonaventure from this area. They, obviously, like to recruit from around here,” Kelder noted.
“I talked to them a few times early in my junior year and then, towards the end of the summer, they were at one tournament and I played really well,” he said. “They contacted me and then I went up for a visit.
“They offered and it just seemed like a good fit.”
Kelder, who had visited St. John’s and Stony Brook as a sophomore, chose St. Bonaventure over an offer from another D-I school in the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
“I was just waiting for offers. I really didn’t have a favorite. I had a feeling about the schools that I might want to go to, but then they offered and I got one other offer. It was between those two schools, so I had to make a decision,” Kelder said.
Scholarships will cover about 75 percent of his tuition at the campus located south of Buffalo.
“It’s very good. They gave me the best athletic scholarship they could give and I got a lot of aca-
demic money,” Kelder said.
A major factor in Kelder’s decision was St. Bonaventure’s Early Assurance Program (EAP) with The George Washington University School of Medicine. It allows St. Bonaventure sophomores early acceptance to medical school without needing to take the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test).
Students must meet certain grade point average (3.5 and up) and prerequisite course requirements to apply.
“I’m going to do bio/premed and there’s a program that I’m applying for that, if I get in, then I’ll have a spot in med school so that I won’t have to apply or take the MCAT when I graduate college,” Kelder said. “That was another reason why I chose the school, because it provides such opportunities for that as well.”
Kelder pitched, played first and third base for Kingston last year. He sported a 4-1 record with a 2.97 earned run average.
He was a hitting machine with power for the Tigers. He batted .412 with 35 hits, including a schoolrecord 16 doubles.
He also hit two triples and two homers toward a .718 slugging average. He scored 21 times, drove in 29 runs and had an on-base percentage of . 464.
Larry Sudbrook, who has coached St. Bonaventure to 654 victories in 31 seasons, is looking at getting Kelder’s bat into the lineup pronto.
“He said that I will have a chance to start as a freshman at either third, first or even in a DH role,” Kelder said. “I’m looking forward to getting my chances. It looks pretty good.”
On the Bonnies roster right now is Kingston alum Micah Riddick, junior outfielder.
And on St. Bonaventure’s schedule every year
are non-conference games with Niagara, where Tiger teammate Jeffery Hayner has signed to attend next year.
“Jeff’s not going to be that far. I know we always play Niagara in a series and Siena (where Avery Short is going) we always have a chance to play,” said Kelder, who plays for the Taconic Rangers summer team. “I have (travel team) teammates that have committed in the past to schools like Rhode Island and they all compete in the Atlantic 10 with St. Bonaventure. I’ll be playing a lot of kids that I know.”
Kelder is excited at the prospect of playing at the upper collegiate level.
“Playing Division I baseball has always been a dream of mine,” he said. “I’ve been playing and working and trying to get the attention of college coaches since I was a freshman in high school. To have this happen feels so great.
“It’s just hard to explain. It’s very exciting.”
Tyler Kelder signs his letter of intent to St. Bonaventure surrounded by family, coaches and a guidance counselor.
Tyler Kelder hit .412 with a school-record 16 doubles, as well as two triples, two home runs, 29 RBI and 21 runs scored for Section 9, Class AA champion Kingston.