Ellington revives baseball career with Turks

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HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Eli Ellington considered quitting baseball after two years playing at UNC Charlotte but has found his passion for the game again while pitching for the Harrisonburg Turks of the Valley Baseball League.

Harrisonburg Turks left-handed pitcher Eli Ellington has posted a 1.50 ERA and 43 strikeouts over 24 innings pitched during the 2019 Valley Baseball League season.

Ellington is in his second summer competing for Harrisonburg in the VBL. He has been one of the league's best pitchers in 2019 by posting a 1.50 ERA and 43 strikeouts over 24 innings pitched.

The 6'5", 250-pound lefty has excelled despite limited playing time in his collegiate career. Ellington redshirted at UNC Charlotte in 2018 but hoped to earn a role for the 49ers this past spring. However, he did not make a single appearance during the 2019 season.

"I came in in the spring when were intraquading and I put up some of the best numbers on the team and I really hoped I was going to pitch," said Ellington. "I didn't get a single inning and I didn't even dress at one point. I was basically just a glorified manager."

The lack of playing time caused Ellington to question his future in the sport.

"At one point, it was the first time I had ever thought about quitting," said Ellington. "I was really thinking about hanging them up because I had seen better days, I guess, but something told me not to give up and I came (to Harrisonburg) and I had a chip on my shoulder."

With the Turks, Ellington has found his groove. He was even recently named to the Valley Baseball League Prospect Showcase Team, giving him the opportunity to pitch against top college baseball competition in front of professional scouts in Cary, North Carolina.

"He's just one of those guys that you can look at and can project to go on to the next level," said Harrisonburg Turks head coach Bob Wease.

Ellington is transferring to Gulf Coast State, a premier junior college program in Panama City, Florida. He is considered to be a potential pro prospect, something that may never have been possible without his time pitching for the Turks.

"It's just given me that hope again that maybe I can go on and play the game for whoever knows how many years," said Ellington.