Colts Neck graduate signs professional baseball contract

Felician University’s Matt Kleinstein, who played scholastically at Colts Neck High School, has signed a professional baseball contract with the High Dessert Yardbirds, according to a press release from Felician in Rutherford.

Kleinstein just completed a four-year baseball career at Felician. The 21-year-old resident of Marlboro and a 2013 graduate of Colts Neck, will be joined by his college teammate, Ronnie Grant of Burlington Township High School, on the Yardbirds. They are the 19th and 20th players in Felician’s baseball history to sign professional contracts.

The team is in the independent Pecos League of Professional Baseball Clubs, which is headquartered in Houston, Texas. The Yardbirds are an expansion team in 2017 and are based in Adelanto, California, according to a Felician press release.

Kleinstein was a two-time All-Region selection at catcher during his Felician career, when he collected 136 career hits and holds the school record for 10 career pickoffs. During his career, Felician compiled a 119-80 record and won two Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Championships. Kleinstein earned all-tournament honors during Felician’s 2016 championship run.

“It has been a lifelong goal of mine to play professional baseball,” Kleinstein said. “It was disappointing not to be drafted, but I used it to fuel myself to work even harder, and I am very excited to play for the Yardbirds. I am thankful for my coaches for always pushing to do better and my family for always being by my side.”