VERSAILLES – Versailles senior Brett McEldowney committed to join the University of Northwestern Ohio baseball team on Wednesday afternoon.
McEldowney, the son of Scott and Julie McEldowney, said UNOH was a great fit for him both athletically and academically.
“I’ve always wanted to play college baseball, and UNOH probably gave me the best opportunity to continue my baseball career as well as I’m going into business administration so they’re good business school so I get the best of both worlds,” McEldowney said.
At UNOH McEldowney will be a pitcher. He’ll also have a chance to play in the field during the fall season to see how it goes.
“They’re going to give me an opportunity to play a position, too, if I want to in the fall,” he said. “But once spring rolls around next year I’ll have to decide or they’ll decide what I’ll do.”
For Versailles McEldowney was named first team all-Midwest Athletic Conference as a junior as he hit .315 and had a 2.10 ERA.
So far this year McEldowney is hitting .487 with 14 RBIs. He has a 1.91 ERA and helped Versailles beat St. Henry 2-1 on Tuesday, pitching a complete game and allowing no earned runs while striking out 10 against one of the MAC’s top teams.
“He’s one of the best pitchers we’ve had in my era here,” Versailles baseball coach Ryan Schlater said. “Since my first year three years ago when he was a sophomore he’s the guy that we threw on Saturdays and knew that we could get a good performance out of him every time he went out. He’s just kept on improving each year. He’s one of the most dominant starters in the MAC right now.”
McEldowney has a great arm and physical makeup, which has allowed him to excel on the mound.
“His height definitely helps,” Schlater said. “He comes down and gets that downward angle on the ball. He has a good breaking ball and good changeup and mixes up those pitches well, and obviously his velocity on his fastball helps.”
In UNOH McEldowney will a team that is 27-12 this season with a 14-7 record in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. Last year the Racers qualified for the NAIA national tournament.
McEldowney wants to continue to improve and become the best baseball player he can be in college.
“I just want to continue to excel as a baseball player,” he said. “Just get in with their program, hit the weights more, you know hopefully get up there velocity-wise to compete with some of the best in the college ranks right now. I’m just happy to be able to continue my baseball career, I guess.”
Having faced tough competition throughout his high school career, McEldowney is excited about the prospect of facing even better teams in college.
“I think you’ve got to look forward to that,” he said. “I’m a big competitor so to be able to face some of the best in the nation once you get to college, not just the state, I’ll be excited to showcase my skills up there.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.