Stephen a Nebraska native went to school at South Dakota State University. There he earned his way into the starting pitching rotation as a freshman. He helped the team as captain his senior year with 1st team All-Conference, 1st team all Tournament, Academic Honors and help lead to the schools first ever regional birth. While playing he received his bachelors in health and physical education.
After College Stephen pitched in the American Association for three seasons on three different teams. in 2015 he played for the Sioux Falls Canaries where he received Pitcher of the year and Gold Glove award.