DeLaTorre reflects on baseball career at South Alabama

Kaleb DeLaTorre (Fort Scott HS) finishes his baseball journey in Mobile, Alabama.

MOBILE, Ala. – Kaleb DeLaTorre is a long way from southeast Kansas – but his journey to Mobile, Alabama has been worth it.

“If you told me in elementary school I’d be in Alabama in college, I would have told you no way,” DeLaTorre says, “It’s been everything I expected and more. I took a chance, and it’s been awesome. I’ve met some of my best friends here, and we got to play at some really cool places. I’ve made memories that will last a lifetime here.”

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The former Fort Scott High School standout just finished up his collegiate career for the University of South Alabama on Monday.

The Jags made an impressive run in the postseason, claiming a Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship and making it all the way to the Gainesville regional finals in Florida before falling to South Florida to end the year with a 36-22 overall record.

“It was incredible. This team is really special,” DeLaTorre says of his team’s postseason run, “We’re all brothers. It was kind of one of those things where we got hot at the right time. What we did the last couple weeks was incredible. We made history together, and I couldn’t be more proud of that.”

DeLaTorre came on late for the Jags in their postseason run. He was 6-16 (.375 AVG) in the team’s final four games, hitting two home runs and driving in five.

That includes a 4-5 performance against Florida in their second game of the regional tournament – a game South Alabama won 19-1.

“I think that game really tells the story of our team,” DeLaTorre says, “We lost the first game to Miami 1-0. We could have laid down and packed it in and went home. We showed up and we were ready to go. We ran their starter out in the first inning. My first at-bat we were already up 1-0…they called time and sent their whole bullpen to the outfield. We knew as soon as they did that, we were like we got this, let’s get after them. We made a statement that game, and really put our school on the map with that win.”

DeLaTorre was a 4-year standout for Fort Scott High School, leading the Tigers to four consecutive SEK titles. He started his college career at Neosho CC in Chanute, Kansas, where he earned All-KJCCC recognition in each of his two seasons with the Panthers (2017, 2018).

His senior season at South Alabama, he finished with a .235 batting average, hitting 8 home runs with 34 RBI.

The southeast Kansas kid is a long way from where he started, but he still feels the love from the place he grew up.

“I would have a good game, and I would get on my phone and I would have texts and calls from all the people back home,” DeLaTorre says, “That’s special. I couldn’t be more thankful for all the support I got for all these years. It was really cool, especially this weekend with everyone checking in on me and watching these games on national television, it was really cool.”

His baseball journey has taken him to Mobile, Alabama.

Although the baseball part is now over for DeLaTorre, it’s a place he has come to love – and he plans on sticking around.

“I applied to PTA school down here. I think I’m going to stay down here for a few years,” DeLaTorre says of his future, “I love it down here. Having the beach is cool, too. I’m obviously hitting the golf course a little bit,” he adds with a laugh, “I have a lot more free time now. I’m just trying to figure out what to do next. I’ve met some really great people on my baseball journey. I have connections all over the country now because of that. I couldn’t be more thankful for that, and everything the game has given to me. It’s been a great ride, and I’m very thankful.”