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Steele makes college choice
Eastside senior Hank Steele (center front) signed his National Letter of Intent Tuesday afternoon to continue his baseball career with Middle Georgia State College. Joining Steele at his signing ceremony were his sister, Erin, mother, Julie, father, Miles and coaches, Jon Ayres and Scott Walker. - photo by Matt Smith

Eastside senior baseball player Hanks Steele made his pledge to Middle Georgia State College Tuesday afternoon, signing his National Letter of Intent with the Knights' program in front of coaches, family and friends.

Steele chose the Knights over North Georgia College, saying that the Middle Georgia State program was the best fit for him.

“I really liked the campus when we visited and felt really comfortable with the program,” Steele said. “I had the chance to work out and practice with the team and talk to a lot of the players. They told me a lot of good things about the program, and I think’s it’s going to be a good fit.”

In nine games for the Eagles this season, Steele has picked up seven hits, batting .304 at the plate.

The senior has scored four runs while knocking in six RBIs, while drawing three walks.

In the field at shortstop and second base, Steele has 13 put-outs in 17 attempts, recording a fielding average of .857 for the Eagles.

Steele has also made his mark on the mound this season for Eastside as the Eagles' closer. The four-year varsity letter winner has a 0.00 earned run average in three appearances this season, holding opponents to a .100 batting average while striking out five opponents.

Steele said the Eagles' program has helped him develop into the player he is today.

"The program here has helped me tremendously," he said. "It’s provided me an opportunity to play against great competition, and I’ve been fortunate to practice with great players and have received great coaching. It’s opened up my game a lot."

Eastside coach Jon Ayres said that Steele's reliability helps set him apart from others.

"Hank is a very hard worker in the classroom and on the field," Ayres said. "He’s a good representative of our program and our school. His work ethic has been very beneficial to our program and he’s a steady player. You know what you’re going to get from him."

Steele, the son of Miles and Julie Steele, joins his sister, Erin, in the list of the family's collegiate athletes.

Erin is currently a sophomore on the Georgia Southwest softball team.

Steele also played travel ball in 2013 with Team Elite and formerly played with the Newton County Tigers travel squad.

Through 18 games this season, the Middle Georgia State program is 15-3 with a 4-0 record in conference play.