Seton Hill-bound South Fayette senior set for prestigious All-American baseball event

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Friday, January 10, 2020 | 12:54 AM


Baseball has always been Eli Snider’s first love.

The moment he picked up a bat as a toddler started 15 years of devotion to the sport. And now his dedication is being rewarded.

The South Fayette senior third baseman will compete at the Under Armour All-American Preseason Tournament. Snider travels to the Chicago Cubs’ spring training facility in Mesa, Ariz., for the event.

“To represent my region and to be one of the top players is such an honor,” Snider said. “To have the opportunity to showcase skills in front of MLB scouts is opportunity that nobody would want to miss, and my opportunity is here.”

Snider will play in three games over the weekend of Jan. 18. The event features 200 of the nation’s top high school players.

“I will be able to compare myself with the best of the best and to see where I stand,” Snider said. “Ultimately, I am going down there to have fun and play to my fullest potential.”

This past fall, Snider played for the Allegheny Pirates travel baseball team. The team featured some of the top baseball talent from the WPIAL.

“We put him on team because he had a plus bat, above-average arm and really good hands,” Allegheny Pirates coach Fred Albert said. “After seeing him play with us in fall, we saw toughness, athleticism, great attitude and perfect demeanor.”

But baseball wasn’t Snider’s only sport during the fall. While he would travel with the Pirates on Saturday and Sunday, Snider was a member of the South Fayette football team Friday night.

“Balancing football and baseball was tough, but what made it easier was the love I had for both games,” Snider said. “I would play a football game at 7 p.m. on a Friday and then a baseball game at 8 a.m. in another state (on Saturday). The commitment I made to do both baseball and football was a great choice because it taught (me) self-discipline and a work ethic I need to be successful.”

Snider was a dominant force in football. As a linebacker, Snider led the Lions with 64 tackles and received all-conference second-team honors.

With his football career coming to an end, his focus is on the diamond. Snider will continue his playing and academic career next year at Seton Hill.

“Seton Hill is a great program,” Snider said. “They play in the PSAC which is some of the best (DII) competition in the nation. They are consistently great with a phenomenal staff and great kids.”

But before he heads to college, he has one more season with South Fayette. Snider had a strong junior season for the Lions, finishing finished a .367 batting average with 12 RBIs.

“He’s what we call a juice giver,” South Fayette coach Ken Morgan said. “He brings us so much energy. He has a great work ethic. He’s a big kid and hits the ball hard.”

Snider is looking to end his high school career with a bang. South Fayette won a WPIAL championship in 2018. He wants similar results this season.

“Our high school team is looking for a very successful season,” Snider said. “ I always hold my expectations high, so anything short of a championship run will be a disappointment.”

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