Senior Spotlight: South Fayette senior looking to improve after productive high school career

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Wednesday, April 29, 2020 | 2:01 PM


Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight WPIAL spring athletes whose senior years were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

South Fayette senior Eli Snider has had quite the career as a Lion.

While hitting .375 with 24 hits and 18 RBIs as a sophomore, he helped South Fayette capture a WPIAL title. Then, as a junior, he was a part of South Fayette’s WPIAL championship on the football field.

But, for the 5-foot-11 third basemen, he’s always felt more at home on the baseball diamond.

“I was on and off with football and I didn’t really find a true passion for it until this year,” said Snider, a Seton Hill recruit. “But I was always baseball player through it all. It was the one sport I fell in love with, the first thing I picked up was a baseball bat.”

Snider’s love for the game showed over the course of his baseball career. He followed up his sophomore season with a junior year where he hit .367 with 18 hits and 12 RBIs as the Lions went 12-8 and earned another playoff berth.

On top of that, Snider also received an invitation to compete at the Under Armour All-American Preseason Tournament Series this past January in Mesa, Ariz. before everything was shut down because of the coronavirus.

The event featured 200 of the nation’s top high school players split into teams based on their region. Snider said it was an amazing feeling to be able to compete against some of the top players.

“That was one of the greatest experiences I’ve been through in my baseball career,” Snider said. “We did a workout with the Coastal region, so it was kids from the Dominican and Puerto Rico, and I was able to work out with Steven Ondina, who played in the actual All-American game, and he’s the No. 1 prospect out of Puerto Rico. So, to be able to compete with them and on the same level as them, it meant a lot to me.

“It felt great to get a little bit of baseball in before everything got canceled.”

Even with the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, Snider is still finding ways to improve before he heads off to college. Along with working on his swing, and practicing social distancing while doing so, Snider has been really focused on eating right during the quarantine.

“I’ve really been going on a serious diet because sometimes when you’re at school it’s hard to find that healthy food,” Snider said. “So, I’ve been eating three eggs every morning, some salad every day for lunch and then I’ve really been trying to fill up on protein, I’ve been eating an Askin’s bar after I work out. I’ve really just been trying to lose some weight to get ready for Seton Hill.”

What’s your favorite moment from playing baseball at South Fayette?

Definitely winning the WPIAL championship in 2018. The dog pile at the end was one of the greatest feelings ever. It was a great atmosphere.

The game is on the line, would you rather be on defense or at the plate?

At the plate for sure. No doubt about it.

If you could face any pitcher who would it be?

I think if I could go up against Gerrit Cole, I would love that.

What’s your favorite sports moment as a fan?

I love watching hockey, and I was at the 2016-17 (Penguins) Game 7 against the Ottawa Senators in the Conference Finals when they went into double overtime and won 3-2. That might’ve been the most electric sports moment just because I was there in the moment.

What made you want to commit to Seton Hill?

They were the first team to give me the opportunity. Then I went to the campus and it felt right. When I went on other visits, I always thought to myself, if I go here what would I miss at Seton Hill? So that kept going through my brain.

What will be your major?

I’m undecided right now, but I’m pretty sure I want to go into business.

If you could choose anyone to give a commencement speech at your graduation, who would it be?

LaVar Ball.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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