Bell talks signing with Purple Aces

Courtesy Photo
Southridge senior Ethan Bell, joined by father Aaron (left) and mother Molly (right), signed his letter of intent Nov. 12 to pitch for the University of Evansville.

By COREY STOLZENBACH
sports@dcherald.com

HUNTINGBURG — Nov. 12 was a long time coming for Southridge senior Ethan Bell, who signed his letter of intent to continue his baseball career at the University of Evansville. Bell has played baseball since he was around six or seven years old, and started being competitive about it when he was 10.

“It feels amazing,” Bell said about his signing. “Just getting that out of the way with the whole COVID thing, not knowing how it’s going to affect, it’s just nice knowing that my names on that dotted line, and everything’s set.”

Bell told the Herald on Wednesday that the Purple Aces were the first team to offer him, and he likes how close the school is to home. He lauded the coaching staff for being knowledegable, and is fond of the school itself. Bell added that Indiana State University also gave him an offer.

“I liked them both a lot, but it just came down to U of E was just a better fit for me,” he said.

He’s looking to be a Pre-Med major at Evansville, and is currently slated to be a pitcher for the team. Bell does not know if he will be a starter or a reliever because he’s been a starter for the Raiders, but did a lot of relief work this summer with his travel team.

Bell broke out in a major way for the Raiders during his sophomore season of 2019. He earned All-Pocket Athletic Conference honors, and was named an honorable mention on the Indiana Baseball Coaches Association All-State team. Bell helped the Raiders to their second straight Class 2A state runner-up finish.

“I just threw my best that year,” Bell said. “I can’t complain. I threw really well, (the) team did really well behind me and ended up in the state finals.”

He wields a number of pitchers in his arsenal — a fastball, curveball, changeup and slider. His velocity can clock in at the high eighties. Bell throws both a two-seam fastball and a four-seam fastball, but said the four-seam fastball up is his go-to pitch.

Bell isn’t the only Raider who will be making his way to Evansville in 2021. His Southridge battery mate, Chase Taylor, recently signed with the Purple Aces as well.

“It’s going to be cool,” he said. “You never see a pitcher and a catcher combo go to the same college, and I’ve thrown with Chase since I was 12 years old. He’s always been my catcher. And I’ve thrown to plenty of other good catchers, and Chase is by far favorite one to throw to.”

He added that he’s very comfortable throwing to Taylor while he’s on the mound — citing that Taylor knows he throws, and Bell knows how Taylor acts and feels about a situation.

Bell has also played tennis for the Raiders in the fall, but he isn’t in a winter sport. Therefore, his mind is focused on baseball, and he’s lifting every day and doing baseball workouts multiple times a week.

He feels he has competitiveness to offer the Purple Aces — saying that he doesn’t like to lose. Bell is joining a U of E program that hasn’t had a winning record since 2016, but he believes he can help foster a turnaround by putting in everything he has for the team.

Southridge didn’t have a 2020 baseball season due to the pandemic, so Bell and his fellow Raiders will get one last shot in the spring to finish the job and bring a state championship to Huntingburg.

“I feel like last year, we would’ve been our best,” Bell said. “With the seniors we had last year, it helped us out a lot — a lot of returning varsity players. And this year, if we play, we’re going to be young — a lot of more young players. But with the leadership, with us four (him, Taylor, Colson Montgomery and Camden Gasser), and other seniors, we’ll definitely go really far if we stay and play like we know how to.”




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