BROOMFIELD — Bob and Laura Lockwood have taken in a lot of baseball over the years.
They have spent many a spring or summer afternoon in the stands watching their sons Erik and Jackson compete for Broomfield High or whatever club they might be on that particular year. They were always on the same team, playing with each other and for the same purpose.
That will change on May 9-11 when Erik and his Pacific Tigers — playing their first season in the West Coast Conference — travel to Portland, Oregon to play Jackson’s University of Portland Pilots. Who do you root for? For the Lockwoods, it’s a great problem to have.
“I think they are hoping we don’t face each other,” said Erik, who led the Tigers last season with a .304 batting average with 12 doubles and 19 RBIs. “But it should be fun.”
There is a distinct possibility it could happen, with Jackson likely to see more time on the mound for Portland in is sophomore season and Erik a being a regular in the Pacific lineup.
For Jackson, who is under the tutelage of former Major League pitcher Larry Casian in Portland, his freshman year was fantastic. He appeared in 16 game for the Pilots and had a 1-0 record with a 1.77 earned-run average and 24 strikeouts with just five walks.
“I got some experience and am really looking forward to this year,” said Jackson, whose team struggled to an 18-36 record last season. “In high school I felt like I could just blow it by people, and here everybody can hit a fastball. You really have to be tough with the off speed stuff.”
Both the brothers, like their parents, aren’t necessarily looking forward to the potential one-on-one matchup that could happen; but they understand the importance of making the most out of a rare opportunity that most families will never have the chance to enjoy.
“It’ll be special, because I’m sure we will have a lot of family come out and watch,” Jackson said. “Not too many people have this opportunity.”
Said Erik, who plays first base for the Tigers: “It’s going to be awesome. We’ve had the chance to grow up together, especially in high school. It’s definitely going to be fun, even if my parents really aren’t looking forward to it and us facing each other.”
Erik Lockwood, who is getting his degree in finance and had an internship over the summer with Morgan Stanley, has hit the ball well in the two years he has had the chance to play. After an injury derailed his freshman year, he came back to hit .352 the next year, which again was the best on the team and second best in the country among all freshmen (he was a redshirt freshman). He is not looking to far ahead and hasn’t really thought about taking his game to the professional ranks, but it isn’t something he has ruled out, either.
“That would be something that I would definitely love to do,” he said. “Unfortunately it is not really up to me. I just have to do my own thing, play hard and hopefully everything works out. It’s not really something that I want to do, but hopefully I’ll get and opportunity to do so.
“Right now the focus is on trying to get better as a team and doing pretty well this year and hopefully making it to the postseason. I’m sure the coaches have a pretty good idea of what the scouts are saying, but they really haven’t told me.”
Erik Lockwood and his team went a disappointing 15-39 last season and will look to turn it around in the WCC this season. The Tigers open up the season on Valentines Day in Arizona against Nebraska in the Husker Classic. Jackson’s team will also be in action on Valentine’s Day, starting the season with a three-game set in Los Angeles against UCLA.
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