Hatley's Eli Carter signed his letter of intent on Wednesday to play baseball at Blue Mountain College. Pictured are, front, from left: Michelle Carter, Eli Carter, Scott Carter, Savannah Clayton; back, from left: Hatley assistant coach Tyler Wood, Bo Carter, head coach Jamie Edwards, assistant coach Drew Garrett.

Hatley senior Eli Carter will be rewarded at the next level for both academics and for his baseball career as he signed his letter of intent to play baseball at Blue Mountain College on Wednesday while also getting a full academic scholarship with the Presidential Scholars of Distinction scholarship through the honors college.

Carter was originally committed to play baseball at Covenant College in Georgia.

“We prayed for a better financial opportunity, especially after our house was hit by a tornado,” he said. “I applied for this scholarship through Blue Mountain, and I took one interview, and they called after it and said I won the full ride scholarship. I went on a visit about a week after and just fell in love with it.”

Carter said he felt like the academics and the baseball program would both be a strength for him.

“The college made me feel wanted, and they were incredible,” he said. “The baseball coaches welcomed me with open arms, had my picture everywhere on every picture screen and really made me feel wanted. They have new facilities and a really nice field. The school has an entire area for what I’m majoring in, which is exercise science.”

For his senior season, Carter is hitting .385 with five doubles, a pair of home runs and 16 RBI. He is looking to play a utility role for Blue Mountain as well.

“Being a two-way utility player is very unusual, but I will play utility and also pitch,” Carter said. “I plan on tweaking my pitching mechanics to throw harder than I am now because I know I don’t have very good mechanics. I’m going to spend the summer working towards that and also getting stronger, staying in the weight room and keeping my diet right.”

With Carter being a long-time starter, Hatley coach Jamie Edwards said one of his biggest strengths has been his versatility and leadership.

“He’s very versatile in the field, and he has played all the outfield positions, caught for us, pitched, and the only place he hasn’t played is second base, and I wouldn’t be afraid to put him there either,” Edwards said. “He has one of the highest averages and most RBIs on the team, so he has always been able to produce at the plate. He’s a very good team leader and a guy that the underclassmen look up to and junior high kids want to be like. He’s a great Christian kid with strong values that shows on and off the field.”

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