Former Walsh Jesuit standout pitcher Tyler Skulina is returning to Northeast Ohio.
And, presumably, Kent State couldn’t be happier about it.
After spending the fall at the University of Virginia on a baseball scholarship, the 6-foot-6 235-pound right-hander has transferred to Kent State University for the second half of the school year and the foreseeable future.
‘‘It’s absolutely true,’’ Walsh Jesuit baseball coach Chris Kaczmar confirmed to the Beacon Journal. ‘‘He is now enrolled at Kent State and is on the team, all moved in and looking forward to a fresh start at Kent.’’
Skulina, who was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 46th round (1,385 overall) of the 2010 major league draft, will sit out this season, but will have four years of eligibility intact, according to Kaczmar.
Virginia did provide him with a release, he said.
Calls to Skulina were not immediately returned.
The right-hander never lost in his high school career and struck out 221 batters with a blazing fastball that often reached 95 miles an hour.
With a firm commitment to Virginia, Skulina fell in the major league draft.
Once on campus, Skulina realized Virginia was not the right fit for him in the long term, Kaczmar said. Skulina did pitch during Virginia's fall exhibition season.
He will now be eligible to get drafted again as a redshirt sophomore in 2013.
At Kent State, Skulina will be reunited with left-handed pitcher David Starn. The two combined to help lead Walsh Jesuit to a Division II state championship in 2008.
‘‘A lot of his teammates have had a lot of success at Kent State and he felt comfortable there,’’ Kaczmar said.
Jonas Fortune can be reached at email@example.com.
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