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HHS' Rule inks with FHSU

By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

Hays High School senior Chandler Rule said he had looked forward to this day since he was a little boy.

Rule signed his national letter of intent to play baseball at Fort Hays State University on Wednesday in the HHS dining hall.

In a way, Rule is following in the footsteps of his brother, Kelton Rule, who signed to play at FHSU four years earlier.

Born and raised in Hays, Rule has grown up around ballparks, especially Larks Park. He said FHSU seemed like the place to be.

"My entire life I wanted to play college baseball," Chandler Rule said.

Hays High coach Frank Leo said Rule had a strong work ethic, best demonstrated by his recovery from a broken leg suffered during the summer.

Rule slipped going into third base during a Hays Senior Legion game in early June. He broke his tibia and fibula and tore ligaments in his ankle.

Rule battled through the rehabilitation process so he could play football, and he managed to make it back midway through the season.

"Our trainer, Jenny, I worked with her every day before and after school," Rule said. "We went up to the clinic. It was a lot of work and pretty painful getting back on it."

Now fully healthy, Rule is having a career year at first base, hitting .414 with eight doubles, two home runs and a team-high 25 RBIs.

"His offensive game has really taken it up a level," Leo said. "He has been a tremendous force, hitting in that four hole."

Rule is the third Hays High senior to sign his letter of intent to play collegiate baseball. Shortstop/pitcher Hayden Hutchison signed to play at Neosho County Community College, and Daniel Bittel will play at William Jewell College.

"Hayden Hutchison and Daniel Bittel are very good friends of mine," Rule said. "We work out together, push each other and get better every day."

Chandler Rule comes from a strong baseball family.

Kelton Rule played third at FHSU this season and hit .363, and he led the squad with 43 runs scored, 14 doubles and 42 RBIs. He was third on the team with seven home runs.

His father, Doug, is involved in the Hays Baseball Association, and his younger brother Connor, a freshman, already has seen plenty of varsity action for the Indians.

"It seemed like yesterday we were talking about Kelton doing this," Leo said. "Now it's already four years later and Chandler is doing it. Maybe in another four years, it could be Connor. It is a great family. ... They are a family of workers from Mom and Dad on down."