Steimel signs to play baseball at VU
Another Sullivan High School baseball player will be taking his talents to Vincennes University.
On Friday in the high school library, senior Eli Steimel signed a letter-of-intent to play baseball for the Trailblazers.
Steimel, the son of Tony and Alison Steimel, will be joining former SHS teammate Braedon Nichols at VU.
“I knew that I wanted to play baseball at a JUCO (junior college),” said Steimel, who batted .333 during the 2019 season for the Golden Arrows. “Vincennes has always been strong in baseball.
“Braedon is my best friend. We are going to be roommates. It turned out to be the perfect fit.”
Tony Steimel said he was doubly proud of Eli.
“As a coach, you are always happy and proud when a player gets a chance to move on and play at the next level,” said Tony. “But it’s not every day that a coach gets to watch his son sign to play college baseball.
“Coach (Chris) Barney has a very good baseball program at VU. I am looking forward to having the chance to see Braedon and Eli play together down there. They are best friends and they are going to be roommates. They are going to have a unique opportunity to continue playing baseball together in college.”
Eli said that he is happy that his parents will have the chance to watch him play.
“It will be great to have the chance to play close to home,” said Eli. “My parents have been such a big part of my life and I am glad it worked out this way.”
Even though he will have Nichols in his corner, Eli realizes the upcoming changes in his life.
“I know that I will be away from home for the first time,” he said. “I will have to deal with the extra challenges and responsibilities that go along with going to college and being a ball player.
“I know I will have to work even harder to make the adjustments to play on the next level. The competition will be tougher than what I have faced in high school. I will have to get quicker and stronger, but I am confident in my ability to get the job done.”
Eli said that he plans to major in Construction Technology.
“Eventually, I want to own my own business that flips houses,” he said. “I have been in the building trades program here so I think it will be a natural transition at VU.
“But I know it won’t be easy being a student-athlete in college. I will have to keep up with all my school work while taking on all the added responsibilities that come with being a baseball player in college. I am looking forward to the challenge.”
Tony still marvels at how far his son has come.
“Eli has worked so hard to make this happen,” said Tony. “He has made himself into a good baseball player.
“He can play a lot of different positions, but I believe coach Barney is recruiting him for his stick.”
Eli said that he has played a lot of left field, but could possibly play right field at the next level.
“I will play wherever they want me to play,” said Eli. “... I cannot thank my parents, family, coaches and teammates enough for helping me to get to this point.
“I just want to make the most of this chance. This is really like a dream come true.”