BELLARINE Bears star pitcher Lachlan Hockey will be making a dream move to America, having recently signed with Trinidad State Junior College’s baseball program in Colorado.
Hockey was at the forefront of the Bears premiership charge winning season. The Geelong Baseball Association named him the grand final’s most valuable player, and he was also selected in the team of the season.
Bellarine Bears head coach Lewis Weldon said the university offer was a great chance for Hockey.
“Going to America to baseball is one of the biggest things you can do. It’s a massive opportunity to learn and get even better from unbelievable coaching.
“Just being in front of scouts over there regularly will get him the opportunity to go even further in baseball and possibly make a career out of it, as well as getting an education out of it at the same time.”
Hockey played on tour with the NextGen in Arizona last year. That gave him the chance to perform in front of scouts, but Hockey said the process of being selected for an American university while in Australia was very rigorous.
“You make a video and you send it out to heaps of coaches (from various colleges), and they come and watch you or get people to watch you. Then they decide if they like you and then they start talking and if they like you more, they give you an offer.
“Sometimes you don’t even know they’re there, so they’re just watching you all the time.”
Hockey has been at the Bears since he began playing baseball about six years ago.
While Weldon has only been at the club the past three years, he said in that time Hockey’s development has still been very impressive.
“I’ve seen him go from an okay junior to our best pitcher at the club and potentially in the league.
“He’s always had the ability and was just waiting for everything to click for him. He’s done the work to allow that to happen as well.”
Hockey said Weldon was among those at the club to help him improve.
“All the coaches – Lewis Weldon, Wayne Visor – they have helped me a heap mentally and physically, as well as learning about the game.”
Because of coronavirus, there is some uncertainty as to when Hockey will make his move to America, but he is eager to begin.
“If they say tomorrow I can go, then I would love it, but I don’t that think they will happen. It’ll be around January, probably.”