Eli Lenington has had a change of mind as to where he will be attending college.
The 2012 Marietta High graduate was originally going to Ohio University in Athens, but now he's decided to stay even closer to home by enrolling at Ohio Valley University in Vienna, W.Va., on the outskirts of Parkersburg.
There, Lenington is planning to continue his studies (business) and also play baseball for Bob Crawford's Fighting Scots.
RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times
Beverly/Lowell first baseman and 2012 Marietta High graduate Eli Lenington, left, is presented with a District 11 trophy by Tom Siley after B/L claimed the title in Beverly. Lenington is continuing his studies and playing baseball at Ohio Valley University.
Times file photo
Eli Lenington bats during an American Legion game this summer.
"It was actually about a month ago that I changed my mind," Lenington said. "I played American Legion baseball this summer, and I just wanted to keep it going. I had so much fun."
Lenington will be joining Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 teammates' Tyler Proctor, Wes Hatfield and Clay Ullman and assistant coaches' Trey Engle and Donald Hilverding at OVU.
Also on the Fighting Scots' roster is former Marietta Tiger Michael Bauman.
Ohio Valley University is an NCAA Division II school and currently a member of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Conference (WVIAC).
Effective July 1, 2013, however, the Fighting Scots will be competing in the newly formed Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC).
This past spring, Ohio Valley University - which starts its baseball season in early February - finished with a 16-28 overall record.
"I'm really looking forward to it," Lenington said. "Classes actually start (today), and I'll be commuting."
At Marietta High, Lenington enjoyed a productive three years on the varsity baseball team with a career .354 batting average. As a senior, he hit .324 (23 of 71, second on team) and led the Tigers in runs scored (14, tied with two others), doubles (4), and bases-on-balls.
On the hill, the right-handed-throwing Lenington had two saves and a 2.14 ERA (5ER/16.1 IP), and helped the Tigers finish with a 12-12 overall record (4-9 East Central Ohio League).
Last year, as a junior, he batted .446, and finished the campaign with a 17-game hitting streak which was extended to 20 games at the start of the 2012 season.
When Lenington was a junior, he earned All-Southeastern Ohio Athletic League (SEOAL) and All-South East District honors.
In his three seasons in an MHS baseball uniform, he appeared in 62 games.
An all-around ball player, Lenington played at every position but catcher on the diamond during his prep career. As a sophomore, he was primarily an outfielder. In his sophomore season, he was a middle infielder until settling in at third base.
And, this spring, Lenington was positioned at first base when not pitching.
"His long arms and legs, soft hands and athletism make him well-suited for first," said Marietta co-head baseball coach Jim Thrash. "But I'm sure Coach Crawford could be comfortable with him playing most any other position."
In the batting order, both at MHS and Beverly/Lowell, Lenington was the leadoff hitter, thanks to his knack for getting on base.
"Eli was a valuable member of our recent Tiger teams because of his versatility and athleticism," Thrash said.
In American Legion baseball this summer, Lenington batted around .350, and helped Post 389/750 compile a 36-6 overall record, which included a 27-game winning streak, a District 11 championship, and a state tournament berth in Lancaster.
At Marietta High, Lenington was also academically inclined (3.4 GPA) and a basketball letterwinner for J.D. Secrest's Tigers.
"He was a successful young man in the classroom, on the court and on the baseball diamond," Thrash said. "We believe that he can build on his experiences of high school and summer baseball to have a successful college career as well.
"We are very proud of the Tiger baseball players, who in recent years have continued to play during college - Chris Dent, Evan Brockmeier, Michael Bauman. We look forward to following Eli's college baseball career."
Lenington is the son of Dave and Dawn Lenington of Marietta.
He also has a younger sister Cady.