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Encouraged by future employer, Bryce Kelley will play an extra year at Michigan State

Rockford native to play 5th year of baseball
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Posted at 6:40 PM, May 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-27 18:40:26-04
MSU Senior returning for one more baseball season

Bryce Kelley thought his baseball career was over.

"As a senior you don't really plan on that's how it's going to be your last game," Kelley an outfielder at Michigan State said. "Your last kind of hurrah."

When COVID-19 canceled NCAA spring sports back in March, Kelley was just eight stolen bases from the Spartans career record.

He had hits in 14 of the teams 15 games and was hitting at a .400 clip.

"I felt great," the Rockford native said. "I guess the team as a whole we were just kind of clicking. I felt like there was a lot of unfinished business left."

Kelley already had his future plans lined up. The Supply Chain Management major had accepted a position as a procurement specialist at Raytheon, a defense company in Indianapolis. He was supposed to start this summer after baseball finished.

"As soon as the NCAA came out and said guys can get their year back my would-have-been boss reached out to me," Kelley said. "He said you are going to work for 35-40 years after this I think the best thing for you would be to go back and play and really just enjoy your last year of college."

Kelley couldn't pass up the opportunity knowing he had the support of the company he had committed to.

"For him to give me that blessing that was kind of like the last thing," Kelley said. "I was like wow, maybe I should really consider this. For him to say that and for him to look out for my best interest was really special to me."

Kelley says he may still consider Raytheon in the future but he's getting married next summer and his future wife is staying in the Grand Rapids area so he may look for work closer to home.

"It is just funny how things work out." Kelley said. "It was tough how it all happened, how it all went down but I always say everything happens for a reason."

Now he gets a chance to go after that stolen base record.