Player Spotlight: Dustin Lacaze, baseball

Photo courtesy of Olivia Rook/TAMU-CC Media -
Dustin Lacaze readies himself to strike out his opponent.

Photo courtesy of Olivia Rook/TAMU-CC Media – Dustin Lacaze readies himself to strike out his opponent.

When out on the diamond, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Islanders baseball pitcher Dustin Lacaze lets his arm do the talking.

Lacaze, who is currently a junior majoring in Sports Management, follows his family’s history of playing baseball. Although he played football in high school, he injured his collarbone first practice his junior year. This came as a blessing in disguise for Lacaze as it pushed him to play baseball.

“Putting all the attention on baseball then helped me realize that I did want to go play college ball,” said Lacaze, “and try to go find somewhere to play.” From there, he played summer league baseball and the coaches at TAMU-CC noticed Lacaze. He committed to playing for the Islanders his senior year.

The Islanders baseball team is competing in the Southland Conference games, where they beat the Incarnate Word Cardinals baseball team two out of the three games on the weekend of March 8. Lacaze said that these games are the ones that count in their standing in the tournament, which they hope to go far after missing out on the tournament by one game last year.

“We let games slip away from us early in conference,” said Lacaze. “This year going out, we know we’re not taking any game for granted.” He added that the team and himself plan to accomplish this by winning as many games as they can on the weekends, which is when the conference games take place.

In these conference games, the Islanders baseball team faces off against schools such as Nicholls State, Central Arkansas and Abilene Christian University. Of all the matchups, the one that Lacaze looks forward to each time is the matchup with Sam Houston State, who they will compete with May 3–5.

“They’re always the top team in our league,” said Lacaze. “They’re very competitive. When you play a team like that, everybody plays a little bit better and tries to compete harder.”

Another encouraging factor for Lacaze and the team was last year’s game when the Islanders baseball team competed in the Kleberg Classic at Whataburger Field. The Islanders beat many teams including Mississippi State University, who was ranked #21 in a sweep, which helped showcase the Islanders.

“That was a very good weekend for us,” said Lacaze. “It brought a lot of light to the program, and that was probably one of the most memorable ones.”

One of the many goals Lacaze wants to accomplish before graduating and finishing the season is to win a conference tournament with his team. “That’s a big team goal for us,” said Lacaze. “We put so many hours in the fall semester practicing.”

Lacaze also added that he plans to continue playing baseball once done with TAMU-CC by going to the pros.

“A personal goal for me is to get drafted this year and go play professional baseball,” said Lacaze. He also added that he had the opportunity to get trained in Tomball to help him with his pitching ability.

One of the teams that has an interest in Lacaze is the Los Angeles Angels, but at this time, Lacaze said that everything is still in the air. He will remain focused on playing well and having a great year this season and next.

The Islanders baseball team will be competing against Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La., Mar. 22–24 in the Southland Conference games. The next home game they have will be Mar. 29–31 at TAMU-CC’s Chapman Field.