Like so many other high school senior baseball players across America, Owensboro’s Tucker Hagan can only wonder what might have been.
Hagan was one of 10 seniors set to play for the Red Devils this season, but his final prep season was short-circuited by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, the 6-foot-2, 175-pound shortstop is turning his attention to the fall, when he will attend Lincoln Memorial University, a NCAA Division II program located in Harrogate, Tennessee.
“I’m excited about the opportunity,” Hagan said. “I took a visit there in early August and did a private workout. I took a tour of the facilities and the campus, and I just fell in love with the place.
“They’ve had a very solid team the past few years, and they’ve got a lot of experienced players returning. I’m looking forward to learning what I can from them and becoming a better baseball player down there.”
Despite missing his senior season, Hagan looks back on his OHS career with great fondness.
“It was an honor to play in the Owensboro program,” Hagan said. “Losing my senior season was pretty tough all the way around because we had such high hopes of what we might be able to accomplish. We had a good season last year, and we were hoping to be even better this season.
“But, hey, I loved every minute of it. I learned a lot about baseball and about being a good person off the field from coach (Logan) Johnson. He taught me a lot through the years, and I appreciate every but of it.”
Hagan has also learned plenty from his father, longtime Red Devils assistant Danny Hagan, who competed as a left-handed pitcher in the Cincinnati Reds organization.
“It’s been awesome,” Hagan said. “Like coach Johnson, my dad played pro baseball, and he knows what it takes to succeed at a high level.”
Last season, Hagan batted .388 with 32 runs scored, 24 RBIs, nine doubles, a triple and 12 stolen bases to help the Red Devils finish 24-11 and reach the semifinals of the 3rd Region Tournament.
Hagan was slated to play for the Owensboro Post 9 Bombers American Legion team this summer, and still may play an abbreviated regular-season schedule, but there will be no American Legion Baseball postseason tournaments due to the coronavirus.
“Right now, I’m trying to stay in shape mainly at home,” Hagan said. “I’m doing some running, and my dad is helping me do some workouts here and there.”
Hagan, too, has aspirations of competing at the pro level.
“I need to get better and stronger, and I think at Lincoln Memorial they’re going to help me do that,” Hagan said. “I just hope that all goes well down there and I can have the opportunity to get better and prove myself. It would be great to have the opportunity to play at (the professional) level.”