American Legion Posts 9 and 207 of Beaufort have awarded their annual scholarship to USC Beaufort sophomore pitcher Junior Delatorre.
Adjutant Rich Delmore and athletics director George Miller of Post 9 presented Delatorre with the $1,000 scholarship, awarded to a USCB baseball player from Beaufort County, on 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 his senior season. He is majoring in biology at USCB.
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"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."
After his first year of college at Winthrop University, Delatorre decided to give baseball one more go and played his final season of eligibility for the Beaufort Ospreys American Legion team.
While pitching for the Ospreys, Delatorre caught the eye of Nolan Fuller, then an assistant coach at USCB, 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 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.
This is the second year Posts 9 and 207 have awarded a 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 compiled a 2-2 record and a 6.75 ERA in 10 appearances on the mound.