The summer after his first year of college at Winthrop University, Junior Delatorre decided to give baseball one more go and take advantage of his final season of eligibility for the Beaufort Ospreys American Legion team.
It was while pitching for the Ospreys that Delatorre caught the eye of Nolan Fuller, then an assistant coach at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, and after talking with Fuller and the rest of the USCB coaching staff, he decided his baseball career wasn’t over, after all.
The right-handed pitcher from Beaufort, moved back home to play for the Sand Sharks and enjoyed an outstanding freshman campaign in 2012, posting a 1.42 ERA in 25 1/3 innings over 15 appearances to help USCB reach the Avista-NAIA World Series for the first time.
Delatorre’s route to USCB made him an ideal recipient for the annual scholarship American Legion Posts 9 and 207 of Beaufort award to a USCB baseball player from Beaufort County. Adjutant Rich Delmore and athletics director George Miller of Post 9 presented Delatorre with the $1,000 scholarship Wednesday at USCB’s Hilton Head Gateway Campus.
“I want to thank the American Legion for presenting me with this scholarship,” Delatorre said. “It is an honor for them to choose me. It means a great deal because scholarships aren’t given, they’re awarded, and it’s an awesome feeling when hard work pays off.”
Delatorre was a standout at Beaufort High School, where he was an all-region and all-area selection and tossed a no-hitter during this senior season. He is majoring in biology at USCB.
“There is no more deserving local guy than Junior Delatorre,” USCB head coach Bryan Lewallyn said. “We are very thankful for the support of the American Legion and what they do for our student-athletes.”
This marks the second year Posts 9 and 207 have awarded the scholarship. Former Battery Creek High School standout Weldon Smith was the initial recipient. Smith played four years for the Sand Sharks and was the team’s starting shortstop last season. He was a career .248 hitter with two home runs, 36 RBIs and 44 runs scored, and he also compiled a 2-2 record and a 6.75 ERA in 10 appearances on the mound.