LAKEWOOD RANCH — Every time he steps onto the diamond, Andrew DiLacqua envisions himself training like a professional.
The IMG Academy junior outfielder decided he wanted to be a professional baseball player when he was 7 years old. Two years ago, DiLacqua tried out for IMG; he hoped to get the chance to play against the nation’s elite.
Not only did DiLacqua succeed in making the IMG team, but his hard work and dedication to his sport have produced results. Last month the junior gave a verbal commitment to play baseball for Arizona State University.
DiLacqua became the first player from the Manatee Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth Youth Baseball at Heritage Harbour organization to commit to a Division I program.
“It feels good knowing that there’s going to be more kids there who will be able to at least know they can do the same thing,” DiLacqua says.
DiLacqua looked at the University of Miami, as well as several schools in California.
“Once Arizona State showed interest, that’s where I wanted to go,” DiLacqua says. “I liked it a lot more than any of the others I visited. I liked everything about Arizona State; and when they offered me a scholarship, I decided to take their offer.”
DiLacqua began playing baseball when he was 4 years old. He worked his way up through the Manatee Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth Youth Baseball at Heritage Harbour programs before moving to IMG as a freshman.
DiLacqua also spent a year playing travel baseball for All American Prospects out of Miami before moving over to FTB out of Kissimmee, where he has played the past two summers.
Now, with his junior season upon him, DiLacqua and his teammates are focused on winning every time. DiLacqua also has aspirations of hitting above .400 and hitting a couple more home runs to go along with the two he hit last year.
“If you can make the team win by hitting in two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, it’s a better (feeling) than pitching or making a play on defense,” DiLacqua says.
Contact Jen Blanco at [email protected].