Ellison Hanna signs first pro contract

Bahamian baseball player Ellison Hanna II signed his first professional contract after wrapping up his redshirt senior season for the Indiana State University Sycamores. Hanna signed with the Missoula PaddleHeads in the Pioneer League.

The outfielder took to Instagram after signing his contract to announce his signing.

“2022 is personal,” Hanna posted. “Blessed to sign my first professional contract! Bet on yourself, and your talents will make room for itself.”

The PaddleHeads is based in Missoula, Montana, and plays in the Pioneer League which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball (MLB) but is an MLB partner league.

Hanna helped the Sycamores to a 31-21 win/loss record last season that included a 13-14 record in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I.

He finished the 2021 season with an impressive batting average of .337 in the 34 games he played. He started in 26 of those games. It was a great improvement from the 2020 season in which he finished with a batting average of .231 in the nine games that he played in. He started seven of those games. That season was cut short because of the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021, Hanna had 30 hits in 89 at-bats and five home runs to go along with 21 runs batted in (RBIs). Hanna was able to hit seven doubles and two triples on the season. He posted a slugging percentage of .629 and an on-base percentage of .479.

His best hitting game of the season came in the Sycamores’ second game in the NCAA Nashville Regional Tournament in June. The Sycamores played against Presbyterian College which they won 9-2. Hanna finished 3-for-4 with three runs scored. He went without a hit in the Sycamores’ elimination game against Georgia Tech in which they were shut out 9-0 as their season came to an end.

Hanna was selected to the MVC Baseball Tournament All-Tournament Team. He finished the tournament hitting .278 to go with five runs scored, nine RBIs and three home-runs.

The former St. Augustine’s Preparatory student’s first collegiate experience was for Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he played two seasons. He finished the 2018 season with 59 games played and collected 671 base hits in 192 at-bats to post a .318 batting average. He drove in 55 RBIs and scored 45 runs.

The PaddleHeads finished the 2021 season first overall with a 66-32 win/loss record in the Northern Division. They ended the season on a five-game winning streak and won eight of their last 10 games.

The 2022 season is set to get underway at the end of May.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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