On the heels of a breakout sophomore season, Middletown North Class of 2018 right-handed pitcher Tyler Ras announced Tuesday his non-binding verbal commitment to play baseball a the University of Alabama.

Ras began his varsity career as a freshman and emerged as one of the Shore's top pitchers as a sophomore this past spring. He pitched to a modest 4-5 record, but logged 48 innings in which he struck out 35, walked only nine and allowed 34 hits. Ras posted a 1.46 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP and was a Shore Sports Network Second Team All-Shore pitcher. His fastball was recently clocked at 91 miles-per-hour, according to Perfect Game.

In his second start of this past season, Ras struck out a career-high 10 in a complete game against Christian Brothers Academy. He took a loss, however, as CBA right-hander Luca Dalatri beat Ras and the Lions, 1-0. Ras also pitched a complete game three-hitter in a 3-1 win over St. John Vianney in the Shore Conference Tournament round of 16.

Ras is the second Shore Conference player from the Class of 2018 to commit to a Division I program. Freehold Township third baseman Ryan Ford committed to Penn State on June 30.

Alabama has demonstrated reach into the Shore Conference in recent years, securing a commitment from former Central Regional standout and Class of 2014 member Andrew DiPiazza. An elbow injury kept DiPiazza out of action and the former Golden Eagle would eventually transfer to Mercer County Community College, where he was the named the top pitcher in the conference this year. DiPiazza was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 39th round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft and announced his intent to return to Mercer for this season.