Ty Callahan wasn't ready to give up on his baseball dreams after graduating from Van Buren High School in 2016. 

Two years later, he's throwing in the mid-80s while keeping sharp with his Perfect Timing summer league team. And, while some junior college dreams end after two years, Callahan's story has another chapter.

Next spring, the former Pointers left-hander will toe the rubber for the University of Central Arkansas.

"I didn't have many offers out of high school," Callahan said.

Offers? Actually, Callahan had just one. And after posting a 7-2 record with three saves this past spring, the second-chance southpaw made coach Perry Keith look like a genius.

"I saw him at a showcase in Northwest Arkansas," Keith said. "Ty threw his three innings. He was 81-82 (miles per hour). He didn't light the (radar) gun up. But he had late run on his fastball. I really thought it was a no-brainer to me."

Keith took a chance on Callahan.

"I figured he would grow, get stronger, and he would throw harder as he got older," Keith said. "That kid brings his lunch bucket to work every day, and if you know me, that's what I want. He competes."

Keith's Connors State squad included players from Aruba to Canada, and a lot of points in between — Springdale, Rogers, Van Buren ... Lowell, Mass.

"I had no idea what was going to be in store there," Callahan said. "I didn't know anybody going there, I just went there and pitched."

And pitch well.

Callahan appeared in 16 games, allowing 50 hits in 61 innings. He averaged 10.77 strikeouts per nine innings.

Callahan didn't just get his foot in the door, he opened it, too.

"At Connors, there were pretty good ballplayers around me," Callahan said. "You had to bring your game up, because if you don't everybody is going to pass you."

A month and a week shy of his 20th birthday, Callahan was raised in Cedarville and, like his Connors State teammates, grew up loving baseball while playing catch with his dad, Tim.

"Ever since I was little, I've played baseball," Callahan said. "I played a lot of summer ball, too."

Primarily a pitcher and first baseman for his travel team, one consisting of a lot of Van Buren and Cedarville kids and another based out of Greenwood, Callahan fell behind at Van Buren.

"In high school I didn't pitch that much," he said. "I pitched more my freshman year at Connors than I did in high school."

Like all pitchers, Callahan is still perfecting his array of pitches, the fastball, curveball and changeup. The latter, he says, is the one that saved his career.

"My dad taught me the basics, and my coaches in high school and Bobby (Foreman) at Connors," Callahan said. "I developed my changeup a lot more. I really didn't have one."

Keith and Foreman were instrumental in his development with Connors State.

"They worked with me on my fundamentals and the mental part," Callahan said. "You have to think you're better than hitters all the time. With pitching, you're in control, the main point.

"You have fielders, but it's kind of on your shoulders."

Before he's done at UCA, Callahan hopes to be throwing in the low 90s, something that might garner the attention of professional baseball scouts.

"I want to gain velocity and gain some weight," Callahan said. The ultimate goal, he said, would be to touch 92.

With his sights on UCA, Callahan will reunite with former Pointers' teammate Taylor Anders.

"I'm really glad, especially since it's a DI school," Callahan said. "The campus is really pretty; I like the coaches. Another guy (former Connors State teammate Colton Burgess) is coming with me."