MONTGOMERY, AL -- Former PRO-DAY All-American standout outfielder TJ Riles of Ellenwood (GA) is headed to Faulkner University in Montgomery (AL), announced PRO-DAY Baseball.
Riles visited Faulkner and Head Coach Patrick McCarthy shortly after his teams return from the NAIA College World Series, where his Eagles (54-12) finished national champion runner-up for the second consecutive season.
The 6-2/200 Riles, liked everything he saw on his visit and he couldn't turn down the offer and to be apart of a winning program that Coach McCarthy has built at Faulkner.
TJ completed his junior college career and received his associates degree at Wallace-Dothan (AL) where he batted an impressive .386 (71-184) in 57 games which also included four home runs, 43 RBI’s, 38 runs scored to go along with his 23 stolen bases.
His honors also included ranked in the “Top 10” Overall in many categories in Junior College Baseball. Batting Average: .386 (8th), Hits: 71 (3rd), Doubles: 15 (5th), Triples: 10 (1st), RBI’s: 43 (8th), Total Runs: 118 (2nd), Stolen Bases: 23 (2nd) and Slugging Percentage: .641 (4th).
Riles played last season at East Carolina University (NC) and was an everyday starting outfielder while batting .250 for the Pirates.
TJ will now finish his college career and degree at Faulkner University where he received a full scholarship at a program that has played in the championship game three out of the last five seasons, winning the national championship in 2013.
Faulkner University has had some high draft picks in the MLB draft in the past few years that included this past season's shortstop Olivier Basabe who was selected by the San Diego Padres as the 228th pick in the eighth round. The junior out of Maracaibo, Venezuela, became the first NAIA player chosen this season.
Faulkner teammates Tra'mayne Holmes and Ivan Pelaez were selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 11th round and Tampa Bay Rays in the 33rd round, respectively.
Pitcher Corey Black, a fourth round pick by the New York Yankees in 2012, and pitcher Austin Adams, a fifth rounder who went to the Cleveland Indians in 2009, are players drafted in most recent years out of Faulkner.
TJ hopes his dreams can also be fulfilled at Faulkner University to get that chance to play in professional baseball.
His father (Ernest) played nine-years in the major leagues (Milwaukee, San Francisco, Oakland, Houston and Boston) and his mom (Carol) was a four-sport standout athlete in high school.
If his parents talent wasn't enough, his older sisters Kelli (basketball) and Kamri (gymnastics) received full college scholarships and were also outstanding college athletes.
Professional Scouts and College Coaches first noticed TJ at a PRO-DAY Regional Showcase at Florida State University in Tallahassee (FL). His performance from there earned him an invitation to participate in the PRO-DAY “North/South/East/West” National Showcase in Millington (TN) that helped him to be named to the PRO-DAY All-American Team.
“PRO-DAY Baseball truly prepared me for what I’m going through now. PRO-DAY was my first workout and everyone was so knowledgeable and you knew what you needed to work on to become even a better player when you left,” said Riles. “I like the fact that there were a variety of scouts (Pro/College) there to keep an eye on you as you progress through the years. PRO-DAY truly prepared me.”
"We wish TJ the very best this season. For him to get his college degree, stay healthy and put up some good numbers and help his team get back to the College World Series," said Jeff Gross, Founder of PRO-DAY Baseball.
"TJ has a solid family supporting cast," said Gross. "He will be successful in whatever field he chooses, although I see him continuing playing baseball after this season."
For information on how to attend PRO-DAY events, visit: www.pro-daybaseball.com