Riley notes how playing travel team ball with the Dulin Dodgers team has helped him offensively, defensively and as a pitcher.
"It is helping me out a lot because I'm seeing good pitching and getting good at-bats," said Riley. "In high school I didn't get as good of breaking balls and fastballs. You have guys (at these tournaments) who can locate their off-speed pitches.
"In the field, the balls are hit harder and you have less time to react to them.
"Pitching, it helps me out a lot because I'm having to work every pitch, I can't take off any pitches. I'm having to make sure I throw my breaking pitch for a strike and spot up my fastball."
It obviously is working because he made both the Perfect Game 17U and 18U World Wood Bat Association National Championship tournaments All-Tournament teams, hitting a combined .515 (17-for-33) with 8 doubles while knocking in 12 runs. He also made the 17U All-Tournament team as a pitcher, allowing 0 runs on 0 hits while walking 1 and striking out 9 in 6 innings.
Considering he's still 16-years-old he knew it would be a challenge playing up in age but he had a plan going into the tournaments.
"The 18 and under and 17 and under pitching is a lot more advanced," said Riley. "I stand where I'm supposed to stand, keep my hands inside, opposite field (hitting), and hit the first good fastball that I see."
Pitching-wise, he also knew it would be a challenge but he also had a plan for that as well.
"I was just going to go in there and pound the strikezone and make them hit my fastball first," said Riley. "If I was was able to get ahead in the count I was going to throw them my curveball, then get them with my fastball."
Committed to Mississippi State, he kept up with his future team this past season and was impressed with the season that they had.
"They had an outstanding season," said Riley. "They won a Super Regional, playing Virginia and playing really good against them. Then, they made it to the College World Series in Omaha."
Although he's still two seasons of high school ball away before getting to MSU, he's already looking forward to playing there, especially after the season State just had.
"It made me real hungry to get there," said Riley. "I'm really ready to get there."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing email@example.com.