When practice was over and the other kids had headed to the showers or caught a ride home, Seth Lancaster was still out on the field taking ground balls.
It got to the point during Lancaster’s senior season at Hanahan High School that Hawks assistant baseball coach Bryce Florie would have to come up with excuses so he could leave and see his wife and newborn baby.
“I couldn’t hit Seth enough ground balls,” Florie said. “We knew pretty early that Seth was going to be a special player, but it’s his worth ethic that has gotten him to where he is today. No one will outwork Seth Lancaster.”
Lancaster, who finished his senior season at Coastal Carolina, was one three players with ties to the Palmetto State to be taken Tuesday during the second day of the Major League Baseball draft. Lancaster, a shortstop, was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the eighth round with the 227th overall pick.
“To be honest, I’m still kind of in shock,” Lancaster said Tuesday night. “I don’t think it’ll hit me until I get on the plane this weekend. I’ve been dreaming about this day for as long as I can remember, and it’s the start of a new journey in my life. I’ve always wanted to play professional baseball, and this is a start of new journey that I’ve wanted to take for a long, long time. I’m excited about what’s next in my life.”
Also taken on Tuesday were Wofford pitcher Adam Scott in the fourth round by the Cleveland Indians and Kevin Woodall, Coastal Carolina’s first baseman, in the 10th round by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Lancaster, who helped lead the Chanticleers to the NCAA College World Series championship in 2016, had the best power numbers of his career during his senior season. Lancaster hit a career-high 20 home runs with 57 RBIs while batting .305 for the nationally ranked Chanticleers.
Impressive numbers no doubt, but it’ll be Lancaster’s passion for the game that gets him to the major leagues, said Hanahan head coach Brian Mitchell.
“He has a love for the game that you don’t see in every player,” Mitchell said. “There are so many levels and hurdles you have to go through to make it to the major leagues these days. It’s a grind, and that eats up a lot of really good players. They just don’t want to make the sacrifices you have to make to get there. That won’t bother Seth. He’ll embrace the grind and thrive.”
As a college senior, Lancaster had very little leverage with major league teams and wasn’t sure exactly where he’d be drafted.
“My adviser and I were hoping to go today, but we were never sure,” Lancaster said. “You never know about the draft. Teams will say a lot of things, but until someone takes you, you just don’t know.”
Lancaster was still in Conway, surrounded by his girlfriend, his family and a few teammates when he saw his name flash on social media.
“The Phillies called me earlier in the day, but I didn’t get a call until I saw it on Twitter,” Lancaster said. “We all started jumping up and down, and everyone was really excited. It was a really cool moment, one I’ll remember the rest of my life.”
Lancaster said he’ll fly to the Phillies' spring training facility in Clearwater, Fla., for a workout this weekend. His signing bonus is expected to be around $180,600, according to mlb.com.
“I’m hoping to sign this weekend,” Lancaster said.
The Chanticleers’ season came to an early end on Sunday when Connecticut ousted Coastal Carolina 6-5 in the Conway Regional.
“It was a really sad ending to the season,” Lancaster said. “This has been such a great place to play the last four years, and I didn’t want it to end. But at the same time, I’m ready for the next chapter in my life.”
Scott, meanwhile, became the highest draft pick in school history since 1983. Scott was taken with the 133rd overall pick.
Scott is the active NCAA Division I leader in strikeouts. This season, he led the Southern Conference in strikeouts with 137, and his 3.14 ERA was sixth overall.
"Honestly, I am at a loss for words," Scott said. "The Indians are a team that relates well to my experience at Wofford in that they are relationship-based and care about the individual. They are a team that I was pulling for during the draft process."
Woodall hit .298 with 19 home runs and a team-leading 62 RBIs.