The College of Wooster baseball program has two alumni in the professional ranks this summer as Jamie Lackner '17 recently signed with the Utica Unicorns in the United Shore Professional Baseball League out of Michigan, and Steve Hagen '14 continues his professional career with the Lake Erie Crushers in the Frontier League.
Wooster's now had four baseball players since 1990 ink professional contracts, with the others being Jared Treadway, who was drafted in 2002 by the New York Yankees, and Matthew Johnson, who inked a free agent contract with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010.
"I'm extremely happy for Jamie," said longtime head coach Tim Pettorini. "This is a dream come true for anyone who has ever picked up a ball and bat. He was already going to go down as one of the great players in Wooster baseball history, and now he gets to try his hand at professional baseball."
Continued Pettorini, "Steve is as focused and driven a player as I've had the pleasure of coaching in 35-plus years. He deserves the chances he's getting and he's doing a great job taking advantage of it. I couldn't be happier for him."
A cornerstone at first base for the Fighting Scots, Lackner earned All-America honors in each of the last three years, including a first-team certificate from the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) to cap his standout career. The smooth-swinging right-hander is coming off of a season where he hit .408 (69-for-169), knocked in 58 runs, scored 49 times, drew 42 walks, and clubbed right round trippers. In fact, Lackner ranked seventh nationally in RBI while his .532 on-base percentage ranked 15th in Div. III.
Lackner made his professional debut on July 7, and he was part of a 5-4 win over the Woolly Mammoths.
Hagen earned all-region honors from the ABCA as a junior, and was a three-time all-conference honoree on the mound. As a senior, Hagen went 6-5 with a 3.98 ERA in 14 appearances, 12 of which were starts. He struck out 65 in 83 2/3 innings pitched.
This season, Hagen's 3-3 with a 5.21 ERA over 11 starts for the Crushers. Hagen's signature outing came against Windy City on May 29, and he went the distance with a five-hit complete-game shutout while striking out 12.