FARMINGTON — Lance Lee was a key part of the Farmington High baseball team and is looking forward to playing a major role in college.
The 2014 graduate signed on June 16 with Seward County Community College in Liberty, Kan.
Lee said he heard good things about the school from fellow Farmington High grad Jon Mestas, who played at SCCC in 2011 and recently signed to play for the Windy City Thunderbolts in the Frontier League.
"I worked with Jon Mestas in the offseason, and he would always tell me about Seward," Lee said. "I see how successful kids are out of there, which also helped with my choice of signing with a good program."
Lee was an important factor in the Scorpions' run to the 4A semifinals this season, starting mainly at shortstop.
He was also expected to be the ace of the FHS starting rotation, but an elbow injury limited him to just one start on the mound for the Scorps.
That start came at the most important moment of the season, however, as Lee shut down the defending 4A champion St. Pius X, allowing just one run on five hits in seven innings to help FHS advance past the Sartans in the 4A quarterfinal matchup.
Scorpions' head coach Sean Trotter said it was hard to see a player of Lee's caliber battle injuries in his high school career. He hopes Lee will stay healthy in college.
"He's had injury issues since he was a freshman. You just hope he was snake bit, because he works his tail off," Trotter said. "It's unfair that a guy like that who is working as hard as he does is getting injured, when there are other players who don't work near as hard are staying healthy."
Lee said he'll be battling for a spot at shortstop or third base for the Saints.
"I look forward to the change in competition level and being around other players who all are there for the same reason and goal in mind," he said.
Lee also had a strong season at the plate for the Scorps, and Trotter said with Lee's hitting ability, he should have little trouble finding a place in the lineup.
"If you can hit, they'll find a place for you," Trotter said. "I think he can field well enough, and he's an above-average thrower and runner."
Lee said he's spending his summer working to get ready for college with Strike Zone coach Adam Morrissey while playing during the Connie Mack season.
Lee also believes his knowledge of the game will benefit the Saints next season.
"I believe my ability of knowing different positions well and being able to learn new things very quickly will help me at the next level," he said.
SCCC plays in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference. The Saints went 32-29 in 2014 and placed fifth in the conference's Western Division.