Flames pitcher Brady Stamper takes the spotlight
Liberty Flames 6-foot-5-inch freshman pitcher Brady Stamper stared down the James Madison University batter from the pitching mound before winding up into his pitching motion. The James Madison batter swung, followed by the crowd erupting in applause as the ball cemented itself in the catcher’s glove with a thunder-clapping thud.
The strike was one of many for Stamper on Feb. 20; he finished the outing by allowing only three runs in five innings, earning him Big South Freshman of the Week.
But Stamper’s story was not always one of standout status. The freshman pitcher started out in humble beginnings.
“Baseball was definitely a big sport in my family,” Stamper said. “My dad played when he was younger, but he never really played in college.”
After entering college, Stamper’s father had to quit baseball to find a job. Now, he is able to watch his son pitch in his first collegiate year, a privilege that came as a surprise due to Stamper’s limited high school playing time.
“I didn’t play much in high school until my senior year,” Stamper said. “I grew a lot my senior year, so I finally got an opportunity to start playing and I had a decent year.”
Stamper generated enough interest to receive a scholarship offer from the University of Delaware. But soon after Stamper committed, Delaware and its pitching coach parted ways.
“Things fell through,” Stamper said. “The pitching coach who recruited me left, and my family made a decision to ‘decommit.’ I was left without a school right before my senior year.”
At that time, Stamper’s former high school rival and current teammate Brandon Rohrer posted on Instagram about committing to Liberty.
Stamper contacted Rohrer to inquire about Liberty.
“I hit him up, and I asked him,” Stamper said. “He told me everything about it (Liberty) and got me in contact with the coaches, and then sooner or later, I got an offer from Liberty.”
Since receiving an offer from Liberty, Stamper said he has grown to love the school, his teammates and the resources that Liberty provides for its student athletes. More than anything, he said he feels cared for.
“Liberty’s been awesome,” Stamper said. “That’s pretty much all you can say. You’ve got everything that you could possibly want here from nutrition to the weight room to the field. We have everything. Top in the nation, I would say.”
Despite having a good season, Stamper is not allowing his star status to get to his head.
“(I want to be) continuing what I’m doing and building off of every single mound experience I get,” Stamper said. “Coach (Bryan) Gaines has really helped me do that and pick apart what I did wrong and make it better in the next week.”
Stamper also said he understands that in order to have continued success down the road in his baseball career, he must rely on the Lord to guide him through the twists and turns that the sporting world takes.
“Wherever God takes me, I’m going to put everything in his hands and trust that he’ll lead me down the right path,” Stamper said.
With three years of collegiate baseball still left to play after this season, Stamper is focused on the present. But as professional baseball opportunities draw nearer, Stamper permits himself to dream occasionally about playing major league baseball.
“I’m a Phillies fan but the Yankees or the Pirates are two teams that I would like to play for,” Stamper said.
With a long season ahead of them, there is a good chance the Flames (8-6) will look to Stamper to give them quality depth when they need it the most down the stretch.