JOHNSTON CITY -- Tyler Yotkewich has always dreamed of playing Major League Baseball.
Now a scholarship athlete at Indiana University SE in New Albany, the junior pitcher has earned an opportunity to make that dream a reality.
Yotkewich found out this week that he has earned a spot with the Prospect League Lafayette Aviators.
The Prospect League is a collegiate summer baseball league. All players in the league must have NCAA eligibility remaining in order to participate and are not paid so as to maintain NCAA eligibility.
For Yotkewich the road has not been paved with gold. He's had to work hard to prove himself and he's been encouraged by the advice of his high school coach.
"Never give up on your dreams," said Yotkewich, who said these words from former Johnston City High School coach Trevor Clark are the best advice he's ever had from a coach.
A 2018 graduate of JCHS, Yotkewich, who wen 5-1 with a 2.41 ERA as a senior, walked on at Southeastern Illinois College.
As a freshman there, he went 2-6 with a 6.6. ERA but worked hard to improve. His sophomore season performance, 3-1 with a 4.6 ERA was good enough to earn him a scholarship to Indiana University SE.
His most exciting moment in baseball came last Spring when his team defeated rival Tennessee Weslyan to earn a trip to the World Series where they finished fifth of eight.
"I'm looking forward to going back this year," said Yotkewich.
Yotkewich hasn't lost his sense of humor. His "fun fact" on his League biography reads, "I'm actually from a town with one stop light."
He also hasn't lost sight of a future plan.
"I've always wanted to play in the Majors," he said, noting his favorite team is the St. Louis Cardinals.
While he is continuing to follow that dream, he is also preparing to become a history teacher and hopefully coach baseball at some point.
Not bad for a kid from a one stoplight town.