Kolya Stephenson has decided to put his dream of playing major-league baseball off for the time being to play at the college level first.
The Philadelphia Phillies selected the pitcher with the final pick of the MLB amateur draft on June 8.
But the recent Ocean City High School graduate decided to attend Alvernia University in Reading, Pa., in the fall.
"The Phillies have so many roster spots," Stephenson said. "Since I was selected so late in the draft, I figured I might as well go to college, get stronger, get an education and then, hopefully, get drafted again."
The Phillies, who selected Stephenson with the 1,530th pick in this year's draft, haven't offered Stephenson a contract and will continue to scout him this summer as he plays for the Northfield Cardinals in the Atlantic County Baseball League.
"I don't put any extra pressure on myself," Stephenson said. "I go out there and play my game and if they like what they see, then good. And hopefully they will. If they offer me a contract by August I will probably reconsider at that time, but for now I'm going to college at Alvernia."
Stephenson, a right-hander, pitched three years of varsity for the Red Raiders. He went 6-1 as a junior in 2010, leading Ocean City to the Group III state championship game, and 5-4 this season. He also hit six home runs and had more than 40 RBIs during the past two seasons.