County’s Harrison signs with East Central

By ROBBIE ROBERTSON,

Newton County’s Eli Harrison has seen about as much of East Central Community College as a high school player could.

Not only does Newton County play games at the ECCC field every year, Harrison also attends the school’s fall and summer camps.

So when the senior second baseman/catcher signed with East Central, it didn’t surprise coach Wyatt Tullos.

“I don’t think there was much doubt on where he wanted to go,” Tullos said. “He has grown up knowing East Central baseball and been to their camps and workouts. He is as familiar with them as you could be with a college. I would have been shocked if he signed anywhere else. He has a been a great player, a five-year starter and right in the middle of a lot of wins. With the role he has played, he’s been in the middle of a lot of things here. All the successes we have had in recent history, he has been right there. Look forward to seeing him grow.”

For the Cougars, Harrison splits time between pitching, catching and playing second base. As a junior, the Cougars were 16-11 while Harrison was 3-1 on the mound with a 1.97 ERA in 42.2 innings pitched with 45 strikeouts. At the plate, Harrison hit .419 with 17 RBIs, six doubles and three home runs. As a sophomore, Harrison helped take the Cougars to the 4A state championship series with a .352 average and led the team with 37 RBIs.

“I don’t know where (Coach Neal Holliman) intends to play him,” Tullos said. “He’s a natural catcher and a natural second baseman. It’s probably where ever he needs him. He’s a natural second baseman. He’s a hitter. When you picture that little kid picking up rocks in the yard and hitting it a million times, that’s him. He’s a baseball guy. He’s a first-class kid from a first-class family and coach Holliman knows all of that. He knows what he is getting – a first-class student athlete. He will do the things that Holliman wants him.”

For Harrison, it didn’t matter who else recruited him.

“I had a good many people recruit me but this one mattered to me because I’m a local kid and East Central has meant a lot to me the last couple of years,” Harrison said. “It was an easy decision. I love the coaches and have been around them a good part of my life. It was an easy decision.”