South Beauregard junior ace Nick Lee has had performances to equal his passion for baseball, going 14-1 this season for the Golden Knights. (Photo illustration by Rick Hickman / American Press)
Last Modified: Monday, April 14, 2014 1:15 PM
Troy LaFleur / American Presstlafleur@americanpress.comLONGVILLE — Baseball is not just a game.
Not for Nick Lee it isn’t anyway.
For the junior ace of South Beauregard, being on the baseball diamond is what he lives for.
“Baseball is my life,” says Lee. “There is nothing in my life that compares to baseball.”
The only thing that matches the conviction in his voice in the statement is his demeanor on the field where his presence is impossible to go unnoticed. When Lee steps on the mound everyone in the stadium’s eyes fixate, they know that no matter who stands in at the plate could be headed back to the dugout with just three pitches.
The same is said for his teammates who know that with Lee on the mound, any game is winnable.
“He is our team leader and when our team leader has the ball in his hands it makes the other kids more comfortable,” comments South Beauregard head coach Jeremy Deville.
The same can be said when Lee has a bat in his hands. A fact that district rival St. Louis learned all too well last week when he went 4-for-4 with 3 RBIs.
“Nick sets the tone for us both on the mound and at the plate,” Deville commented after the 8-1 victory.
Lee also struck out eight Saints in that game and didn’t allow an earned run from the mound.
Earning first-team all-district honors in his first two seasons as a Golden Knight, the junior Lee entered the 2014 season regarded as one of the top players in all of Southwest Louisiana and all season he has done nothing but prove that statement to be true.
One would think that the added attention would place an inordinate amount of pressure on Lee, but as a young man with a dream and a desire to win, he brushes it off.
“I trust my team. They have my back when I’m on the mound,” said Lee. “All of the guys have done a great job of stepping up, so I don’t really feel any pressure.”
Lee is a team-player in every sense of the term. He takes every chance he can to compliment his teammates on the job they have done and shows gratitude to his coaches for helping them get to where they are.
Lee’s stellar performances this season have only improved his chances of playing at the next level, where he already holds scholarship offers from LSU and Louisiana-Lafayette to name a few. And for Lee the opportunity to play for a nationally recognized collegiate baseball program would fulfill a lifelong dream.
“That is the best feeling in the world,” says Lee. “It has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid, knowing that I have that opportunity truly is the best feeling in the world.”
Lee has earned those scholarship offers after getting it done since his freshman year. According to Deville nothing has changed about Lee as a player in that time, but he has improved on the things he was already good at.
“Nick has always been a competitor, really nothing has changed, he’s been that way since he was a freshman,” said Deville. “His velocity is up this year, he’s throwing around 90 (miles per hour), but whether he is throwing 90 or 78, he’s going to get the job done.”
Lee has won all nine of the games that he has started in 2014, but he hasn’t gotten the Knights off to a 21-3 start and a 5-0 record in District 4-3A by himself. His teammates have provided excellent run support behind the big bats of Josh Hunt and Brandon Hare.
With no signs of slowing down, the Knights are geared up for a run at the district championship as well as a top-seed in the Class 3A state playoffs.
According to Deville the Knights have the potential to do something special, but he isn’t focused on that just yet.
“We are a young team, but we could shock some people. Everyone knew we had Nick Lee going into this year, but I don’t think they expected us to be this good,” Deville says. “I think the sky is the limit for this team.
“We aren’t going to worry about that right now, though, right now we are focused on winning district. We will worry about the playoffs when they get here.”
Lee adds to that confidence with a strong belief that he and the Knights are capable of winning it all.
“We can definitely go all the way,” Lee said. “With all of the young guys and all of the talent that we have, along with all of the hard work we put in and our great coaches, we can win it all.”
That will have to wait , though. For now, Lee will put on his cap and go back to work, with only time able to tell what the future holds for him in the game he loves.
School South Beau