Friday, May 16, 2014
Waccamaw High’s Justin Colegrove signed to play baseball at the University of South Carolina – Salkehatchie on Wednesday morning.
“It means the world,” Colegrove said. “Playing college baseball, I’ve been wanting to do it my whole life. I finally get the chance to do it.”
Colegrove is the 19th Warrior to sign to play college baseball in the last nine years.
“He’s one of those kids that you sleep well at night. He’s not going to embarrass you and the team,” said Waccamaw coach Jeff Gregory. “A kid like that you feel good about taking a chance on. You know you don’t have anything to worry about. He’s a good kid.”
For his career, Colegrove batted .300, had six home runs and drove in 53 runs.
“He was a big part of this program since we brought him up as a sophomore,” Gregory said. “He helped contribute to our playoff run that year.”
As a pitcher, Colegrove went 15-6 in his career, with 85 strikeouts in 115 innings.
“On the hill he was very successful for us,” Gregory said. “Every time he toed the rubber we had a chance to win.”
In his junior year, Colegrove was the Warriors’ MVP, and was named to the All-Region and All-State teams.
“A breakout year,” Gregory said.
Colegrove was just joining the family business when he started playing baseball as a child: his uncle Zack Hagaman played for Waccamaw and is playing for Charleston Southern University, and his grandfather, Jon Hagaman, is a long-time assistant of Gregory’s.
Colegrove liked playing for his grandfather.
“It’s always good to have that extra little bit at home, because he can watch throughout the day and give it there too, and then at home he can do the same, so it’s a plus, definitely.”
Colegrove’s best Waccamaw baseball memories are winning the district as a freshman and the region as a junior.
Even though he didn’t see much varsity action as a freshman, he started seriously thinking about playing in college.
“I kind of thought ‘hey I got a shot’ … so that’s when I really went at it,” he said.
Colegrove thinks the biggest transition to college will be “getting all the schoolwork done and being able to focus on baseball after that.”
“The classroom will take you farther than that field will,” he said.
The coach said several of the younger Warriors have the potential to play at the next level.
“If they want that … they just have to keep working.”
Colegrove’s advice to his younger teammates who want to play college baseball?
“You can never work too hard.”