Smurthwaite to contribute in summer Prospect League By Sports Information Department BC | May 31, 2011 | RSS Bluefield College Bluefield College Athletic Department Official Release Bluefield, VA Smurthwaite to play for WV Miners in Prospect League Eli Smurthwaite transferred to Bluefield College as a high-profile pitcher for Mike White's side this season. But after a load of injuries and lineup re-arrangements, Smurthwaite found himself protecting the thirdbase line. One of the key components to any succesful athlete is versatility. Eli has shown that, both for the Rams and hopefully soon for the West Virginia Miners this summer. Thirty minutes north of Bluefield lies one of the top baseball facilities in all of "minor" or "prospect" league baseball in the United States, Linda K. Epling Stadium- Home of the West Virginia Miners. Smurthwaite picked up his play late in the 2010-11 season and will look to carry that momentum over in Beckley this summer. Again, Eli was originally snagged to be a pitcher for the Miners summer season, but with late arrivals of his fellow teammates, he could find himself in the same scenario as he did at Bluefield College. But not for good. Eli will be playing alongside some of the top players in the collegiate circle. Wright State shortstop Zach Tanner, a member of the Miners last summer. Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Year, Andrew Wright (another returning Miner), catcher Ross Steedley and reliever Jordan Hudson from Charlotte. Also, three players from Kent State, 2010 Prospect League second-teamer Joe Koch, and pitchers Christian Lockett and David Wright who helped the Golden Flashes win their third straight Mid-American Conference tournament. Furthermore, two NCCA regional bound players, 1B Abe Ruiz from AZ State and 2B Sam Frost of Mississippi State. This talent pool will not only help Smurthwaite's personal development but also creates a high standard of play amongst his fellow teammates when he returns to Bluefield next season. Until then, Eli will look to contribute for any team he plays for by using his versality, scrappy batting style and quick baserunning to his advantage. For more information on the West Virginia Miners, log on to their website here.