2014 Lebanon High grad --
Eddie McDaniels, a 2014 Lebanon High graduate who earned 10 varsity letters for the Blue Devils, has verbally committed to finish up his baseball career at NAIA Harris-Stowe State University, located in St. Louis, MO.
A member of the American Midwest Conference along with Freed-Hardeman, Lyon College and Missouri Baptist, the Hornets went 30-18 last season under second-year head coach C.J. Bilbrey.
McDaniels, the son of Missy Reeder, signed out of LHS with Cumberland University and appeared in 26 games for the Phoenix in 2015 -- starting 17. He hit .283 at Cumberland and did not commit an error in the outfield.
McDaniels was redshirted in 2016 and opted to transfer to Volunteer State Community in Gallatin for the 2017 season where batted leadoff for the Pioneers and split time between center and right field. He helped lead Vol State to a record of 29-20 while batting .299, scoring 39 runs, 18 RBI and stealing 30 bases in 31 attempts.
"Eddie was a quiet leader for us," said VSCC head coach Ryan Hunt. "He never says much, but he always got his work done, and was a very heady ballplayer.
"Eddie deserves this opportunity -- he had a great year for us."
McDaniels is excited about the prospect of playing his home games at Stars Park -- to former home of the St. Louis Stars -- from 1922-31.
In fact, McDaniels will patrol center field -- where Hall of Famer and St. Louis native James "Cool Papa" Bell once played.
"Everything pretty much came together during our conference tournament," McDaniels said."I'd been getting calls from several schools, but Coach Bilbrey from Harris-Stowe was there in person to see me play.
"We talked for a while. I really like him and the things he's been able to do at Harris-Stowe."
At LHS, McDaniels played for three baseball coaches in four seasons, earning All-District 9-AAA honors as a junior and a senior.
He was a three-year starter in center field, batted at the top of the order and even pitched a few innings as a senior. He batted .347 as a senior with 34 hits in 98 at bats. He drove in 13 runs, scored 19 times and stole 13 bases
McDaniels earned four varsity letters in basketball for Lebanon and two in football -- joining the team under former Coach Sam Harp as a junior.
"I think it's time I got out on my own a little," McDaniels said. "St. Louis is a big city and the school is right downtown."
McDaniels plans on pursuing a degree in Sports Management.