RBI top gun Dominic Stanbery commits to Anne Arundel CC

         Committing to a college baseball program before the start of his senior year season in high school wasn’t a must for Dominic Stanbery.

      But after Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) entered the picture a few months ago, the Maryland RBI and Northern HS right-handed pitcher decided there was no time like the present.

      Stanbery, who was selected for AAU National Underclass All-America/All-Star honorable mention as a sophomore in 2013, has made a verbal commitment to Anne Arundel.

      He just started his senior year at Northern this fall, but the 5-foot-11, 165-pound Stanbery said he felt confident about Anne Arundel. His former junior varsity coaches at Northern, Ken Lake and Larry Hull, were recently named assistant coaches for the Riverhawks.

      During Dom’s five years of travel-select baseball as Maryland RBI’s top gun, the team has won three Maryland AAU wood bat state championships (including 2012, ‘13 and ‘14) and played in two Mid-Atlantic regional tournaments (1 title, 1 runner-up) and participated in the AAU National Championship.

      Along the way, Stanbery drew attention from other college programs after strong performances in various showcase games, including the Dynamic Baseball tournament at the University of Maryland and the College World Series showcase in Omaha, Nebraska in 2013.  

      Stanbery went 2-1 with a 4.4 earned run average for the MPSSA Class AAA 4th-ranked Northern Patriots last spring as a junior, with 7 strikeouts and 5 walks in 17 1/3 innings pitched.

      He had a highly successful summer 2015 in AAU travel baseball. In 32 innings, Stanbery pitched over seven games for Maryland RBI, he struck out 33 and walked 12 with a 2.1 earned run average.

      "I was throwing a lot harder than I ever have at the end of summer,” Dominic said. “My slow curve ball was really freezing guys, and I got into the eighties (mph) but I'm more of a guy who relies more on location and movement.

      “My Maryland RBI position coach (pitchers), Coach Chris (Cummings) is full of pitching tips,” Stanbery said. “The big thing for me with him is that we've been through a lot together—lots of big games over the years with RBI. He goes through everything that us pitchers go through on the mound.

      “He was a college pitcher in New York so he's been there and that's what makes a good pitching coach. He’s like, let's face it, Dom, sometimes they just get hits, we can’t strike them all out.

      “Our pitchers walk a guy or get in a hole and Coach Chris is as cool as ice. He believes in his pitchers and shows it. He’s toed the rubber and knows what it takes. I’ve learned a lot about coolness under fire from him.” 

      Dominic visited several other schools on his list of potential colleges before selecting Anne Arundel. The chance to play again for his former JV coaches though proved to be the clincher.

      “It just kind of came together,” Dominic said. “I was going to take my time and see what happened during senior year and visit more schools, just compare everything. But after Coaches Lake and Hull joined Anne Arundel and I visited and worked out, and talked it through with my parents and (AACC Coach Carl) Brooks and RBI Coach (Mike) Graham I decided, ‘Mom, dad, that’s where I want to go.’ I just felt it.”

      Dom’s parents are Wade and Jen Stanbery. His dad played college baseball at Bowie State University. Jen was a cheerleader in high school, and is the Maryland RBI team mom.

      “Maryland RBI made me believe I could be a college player,” Dominic said. “Our coaches build our skills and confidence that we can achieve it. They teach that however many tools we have is a gift and to use our talents to the best of our ability and not waste them. I’m excited about going to Anne Arundel and becoming a Riverhawk student-athlete.”                    

      Maryland RBI manager Mike Graham said, “Dom is a big game pitcher—that's the bottom line. Every time we think our back is against the wall, we will go to him on the bump and he does something like striking out three or four in a row—and we’re all like, well all right, we’re back in this thing. You can't say enough about him. He’s made a tremendous contribution to the success of Maryland RBI Baseball and all his coaches are incredibly proud of him. Dom’s future in the sport is very bright in the years ahead."