September 12, 2002
The Boston College Eagles baseball team is flying high on the wings of former South Shore Baseball Club star, centerfielder Drew Locke, and two of his ex-SSBC and Boston College High School teammates, third baseman Jason Delaney and shortstop/pitcher Ryan Morgan.
Last season as a freshman, Locke led the 30-25 Eagles in batting (.452 BA) and slugging percentage (.560%), rapped 13 doubles, two homers and had 19 RBI. A third team Big East All-Conference player, Drew received 2002 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America honors, according to Collegiate Baseball newspaper.
Success has followed Locke throughout his relatively young baseball career. He teamed with Delaney, Morgan, and right-fielder Mike Conroy (who played this past season for the Cleveland Indians’ Class A Mahoning Valley Scrappers) to capture the Massachusetts Division 1 high school baseball championship their senior year at B.C. High. This talented quartet, along with left-handed pitcher Mark Rosen (drafted this year in the fifth round by the Arizona Diamondbacks and played for the organization’s rookie team, Missoula Osprey) had finished third at the 1999 National AAU championship for the SSBC sponsored Seadogs 16-and-under club.
Locke first joined SSBC when he was eight years old. ” I don’t think I’d be where I am today with the South Shore Baseball Club,” the now 6-1, 210-pounder remembered. ” I used to go there and hit all the time. I started playing for the Seadogs when I was 13 and played four years. I still go back to the club in between seasons to hit. We don’t have the best weather around here and any chance to hit is a big plus.
“I met so many of my friends today, ones that will be lifelong friends, playing AAU ball for the Seadogs. We had such a tight knit group, playing ball all summer together at camps and on trips. Me, Ryan (Morgan) and Mike (Conroy) are from the same town, Weymouth, and we’ve played ball together for years. We met Jason (Delaney) on the Seadogs’ 15-and-under team. Mark (Rosen) is a good friend, too. We’ve played on teams with so many good players that it made you want to be a better player.
“I remember going out for the high school team (B.C. High) feeling, as a Seadog, better than the other players trying out. We had about 100 freshmen tryout and only six or seven guys had played AAU ball. It (Seadogs experience) really helped. I worked at Coach Walsh’s camp (this summer) and 80-percent of the players there had played AAU ball. It’s getting huge; players see how players get better playing AAU ball.”
In retrospect, Locke was particularly pleased with the steady improvement of the Seadogs teams he played on. His 13U team won the NIT Consolation game, the following year his 14U club nearly qualified for The Nationals, reaching the second round of qualifying. As a 15-year-old, he played on the NIT championship squad, but capturing the Bronze medal at the 16U National AAU Championship, played at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, was the highlight of his Seadogs career.
Locke, Delaney and Morgan were all starters this past spring for B.C., but Drew didn’t start until he replaced the injured starting centerfield a few weeks into the season. “We all got the opportunity to play and did our jobs,” Drew explained. “I wasn’t playing until the first stringer was injured. I stepped in and did the job, all three of us did.”
Boston College plays intra-squad games during the fall and Locke, who played this past summer for the Mill City All-Americans in Lowell, continues to work hard on his game. A student in the
School of Management, Drew is majoring in finance, but may switch to economics. Either way, he’s interested in a business career, although he wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to become a professional baseball player.
“Sounds good,” he said about the prospect of becoming a pro. “I’d like to make a career out of baseball. Maybe play in the minors and see what happens.” For the next two years, until he’s eligible for the MLB amateur draft (not until after his junior year of college), Drew Locke will be flying high with his friends playing for the Boston College Eagles.