Warren’s Estes to play at West Liberty

VINCENT – On the baseball diamond, Ethan Estes’ teammates call him “Smooth.”

That’s because of the slick way the Warren shortstop can field a baseball, no matter how hard it’s coming or how wicked of a bounce it takes.

Estes signed a National Letter of Intent to continue his baseball career for West Liberty University last week and his smoothness seems to be a big reason why the school was interested.

On WLU’s athletics site, it describes Estes as a “sure-handed middle infielder from southeastern Ohio.”

“That’s a pretty fair assessment of my defense,” said Estes, who is capable of playing all over the diamond.

“That’s one thing that helps me be versatile, having confidence in my hands.”

The site also added that Estes possesses “great bat speed (that) projects well at next level.”

Estes batted .500 this spring for the Warriors and also clubbed 10 doubles and two triples en route to being named first team All-SEOAL and all-district.

A contact hitter, he averaged just four strikeouts at the plate per season for Warren out of the leadoff and No. 2 spots in the batting order.

“I’m not someone that’s gonna hit the longball every time but I can be a threat every time I come up,” Estes said. “I can be someone that’s gonna hit the ball hard somewhere.”

Estes selected West Liberty over Otterbein and Wheeling Jesuit.

“Everything added up well (with West Liberty),” Estes said.

“They’ve got good athletics and good academics. Good community. I like the location. It’s out of the way a little bit.”

Estes said he plans to room with former classmate and Warren basketball star Evan French.

“It was a coincidence more or less,” Estes said of the two ending up at the same school. “We’re really good buddies. I’ve talked to him a lot about the college. He’s helped familiarize me with it.”

Estes said that French, and all the athletes he came through the Warren system with, helped him become the athlete that he is today.

“In high school I got to be around a lot of players, a group of guys that all came up together,” he said. “We had a pretty tight-nit group. That made it easier to work hard. Having dedicated athletes and coaches around me helped.”

Estes, who plans to study ecology, wants to “make as big of an impact as I can as soon as I get there.”

Ultimately, he wants to help a program on the rise continue to make progress.

“The ultimate goal is to win as much as I can,” Estes said. “Do whatever I can to be a part of the team and help them win.”