Thursday, April 3, 2014
Waccamaw High School graduate Zack Hagaman is wrapping up his college baseball career at Charleston Southern University.
“The [years] do go by fast when you think,” Hagaman said. “In a blink of the eye I’m already here. I can remember everything about freshman year. It’s been fun.”
Hagaman was back in the area last week for his last road trip to Myrtle Beach to play Coastal Carolina University. He and the Buccaneers left disappointed, as the Chanticleers won two of the three games, although Hagaman had an RBI in each of the first two games.
Hagaman is a four-year starter at Charleston Southern and two time All-Big South Conference selection.
“A great student and a good kid to coach” is how Buccaneers coach Stuart Lake describes him.
“We’re always looking for good students and we’re always looking for people to make us proud of the program,” Lake said.
At Waccamaw, Hagaman did “just about everything a player can do,” said Warriors coach Jeff Gregory.
Hagaman was a four-year starter, four-year All-Region selection, the team’s Most Valuable Player as a sophomore, junior and senior, an All-State selection as a junior and senior, and played in the North-South Game as a senior.
“Kids like that don’t come along often,” Gregory said. “They come along once every 10 years in a coaching career. A lot of times we were in awe about what he could do.”
Gregory knew he had somebody special before Hagaman enrolled at the high school. When Hagaman was an eighth-grader, Gregory added him to the varsity roster for the Warriors playoff run.
He also picked Hagaman for his senior American Legion team that summer, which meant the eighth-grader was playing against 19-year-old college students.
“We saw something early for him,” Gregory said. “In the long run it made him a better player.”
That experience paid off, as Hagaman finished his Waccamaw career with a .369 career batting average and 20 home runs, 112 RBIs and 28 stolen bases. He was 12-11 on the mound with a 2.61 earned run average and 270 strikeouts.
His play on the field, his academics, and his character led him to Charleston Southern.
“He was a good student so we felt like he’d never give us an issue academically,” Lake said. “You hope you get people to tell you the truth when you’re asking about him and we have. He may have even exceeded what people said.”
Hagaman make a splash in his first collegiate at-bat, hitting a home run against Fordham on March 12, 2011.
The Buccaneers play about 60 games a season, averaging four or five a week, and practice most days they don’t have a game.
“It can be tough,” Lake said.
But to Hagaman, it’s still fun.
“Baseball is always going to be fun,” he said. “It’s my love.”
This season he has appeared in 31 of the Buccaneers 32 games. He has a .298 batting average, eight RBIs and 19 runs.
The Major League Draft is in June, and Hagaman would like to hear his name called. If not, he’d still like to play minor league baseball.
His advice to high school ballplayers?
“Hustle, stay true to who you are, and don’t get too big for your britches.”
Hagaman is the son of Jon, who has coached Waccamaw baseball with Gregory since 2006, and Jennifer, Waccamaw High’s long-time cheerleading coach.
His nephew, Justin Colegrove, is a sophomore on the Warriors baseball team.