Lincoln-Sudbury senior Derek Lowe made a verbal commitment to The College of William and Mary’s baseball program last Wednesday, choosing the Tribe over University of Connecticut, Northeastern University, and Bryant University.
Lowe, a righthanded pitcher who also plays some outfield, says the campus was one of the bigger factors in his decision.
“I really liked the campus,” he said. “Northeastern is in the city, so it’s obviously a little different. I really liked UConn, but they ran out of scholarship money, so they couldn’t offer me any.”
He also has a good relationship with coach Frank Leoni, who took over in the summer of 2005, after 13 successful years at the University of Rhode Island that saw him win two Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year titles and take the Rams to their first NCAA Tournament appearance. Last season, they went 36-21.
“He’s a great guy with big goals for the program,” Lowe said. “Since he got there, they’ve had a lot of success.”
Lowe says he will have a half-scholarship as a member of the Tribe.
NCAA rules prohibit coaches from commenting on players until they have signed a national letter of intent.
This past spring, Lowe missed the bulk of the high school baseball season with an injury to his throwing elbow. He had nerve relocation surgery on March 3, and missed all but the final five games of the Warriors’ season.
During this summer, though, he made a significant splash on the AAU scene playing for the New England Ruffnecks, coached by L-S head coach Kirk Fredericks. Fredericks estimated that Lowe hit “between .410 and .415” with wooden bats for the summer, “by far” the team high “average-wise.”
“I would say out of all the players, you could argue that he was our elite player,” Fredericks said. “The one guy that everyone came to see was him, and (Boston English catcher/third baseman) Nelfi Zapata.”
His fastball typically clocks at around 84 to 85 miles per hour, and he has a hard slider to compliment. Lowe also shows great range as an outfielder.
“One thing that opened my eyes, and additionally to the groups of people watching him, was his ability to play the outfield,” Fredericks said. “There are five or six catches that I’m having a flashback on now, where he was making diving catches like Jacoby Ellsbury or Jim Edmonds.”
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