St. John has roller coaster season at Southern Union
PELL CITY- Locke St. Johns’ first season at Southern Union Community College in Wadley was filled with ups and downs.

The Pell City native got off to a fast start off the mound in the first half of the season, but he had to battle through adversity in the second half of the season.

“It was fun,” St. John said. “There were more challenging hitters. It was more of a grind playing 63 games in four months. If you did bad one time, you had to come back and do better the next time. I started off the year 7-3. He put me in the bullpen for a few times between starts and it didn’t go over that well. I was 1-3 out the bullpen this year which terrible. I needed up 8-8 with a 3.0 ERA and I struck out 90 batters. It was really fun, I ended up throwing 100 innings, which was 20 innings more than any other pitcher on the team.”

St. John said baseball and school are the only things that he focuses on at Southern Union. He said being in a small town like Wadley helps him focus on what’s important in his life.

“You get to love the game of baseball at little more, because the town that I am in, that’s all it is down there,” St. John said. “I have met 35 other kids and they are like my brothers now because I have lived with them so long. We had each other backs and we played together like that. We were the type of team that if we were down by five runs in the ninth, we believed that we could come back and win every game. We ended up 38-23, which is a pretty decent season. We were up and down all season; we finished third in the state tournament.”

To start the season, St. John went 7-3 during his first 11 outings of the season with one game being a no decision.

His first win of the season came against Middle Georgia College. St. John struck out eight batters and he didn’t allow any runs in five innings of action.

Through the first half of the season, St. John led the nation in strikeouts. The freshman recorded 59 strikeouts in his first 10 games of the season.

In the final four games of the season, St. John went 1-4 from the mound with a save.

“It was going good there for a while,” St. John said. “My first start of the year, I earned a no decision against Millbrook. They were the No. 5 team in the nation. My next start was against them at home and we beat them. I think I beat Central Alabama Community College; they were the No.2 team in the nation. It was going good and I thought that was easy until later in the season when my innings got up and my body started wearing down. It is a grind on you in a way. You have to fight back and do the best that you can. Some of the loses snuck up on me and I had to correct myself in some ways. You can’t let the game affect how you play, you just have to go out there and do what you do.”

St. John said it took a while for him to adjust to being a student-athlete on the collegiate level. He believes his academic success is going to open up doors for him when it time to make his next move.

“It was good, it was a little harder than I expected,” St. John said. “During the fall we practiced every day during the week, then we would get to go home for a few days on the weekend. It was a transition especially during the season when you’re not there a lot and you have long bus rides and you have to keep up with your bookwork. That is what’s going to get you to the next level college wise- making the grades. When you make the grades, you get to go to better schools.”

St. John said he is not sure what his next move will be after his sophomore season at Southern Union.

If the lefty hurler has a successful season in 2012, he will have the option of going to a four-year school or he could enter the Major League Baseball draft.

“I am going back to Southern Union next year,” St. John said. “I am going work my butt off and see if we can have another successful year. Hopefully, if I play good, the offers will be there and I will have my options open for whatever. I don’t know where I see myself at right now. We will see in a year from now.”

© 2012