Raiders’ Dylan Lovelace signs to play baseball at Santa Fe College

Santa Fe High School's Dylan Lovelace (second from right) signed on Tuesday to play baseball at Santa Fe College.
Santa Fe High School's Dylan Lovelace (second from right) signed on Tuesday to play baseball at Santa Fe College.
Photo by C.J. Gish

Dylan Lovelace won’t be traveling far to play baseball after he graduates from Santa Fe High School in Alachua.

On Tuesday, the Raiders senior signed with Santa Fe College in Gainesville.

Raiders coach Travis Yeckring started the event by reflecting on Lovelace’s comments going into his junior season.

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Dylan Lovelace hit .267 and went 6-1 with a 2.30 ERA on the mound for Santa Fe last year.
Photo by C.J. Gish Dylan Lovelace hit .267 and went 6-1 with a 2.30 ERA on the mound for Santa Fe last year.

“He said he wanted to earn every start, every at bat, every inning,” he said. “He let me know he was going to go out there and earn it, and his family said the same thing to me, ‘Don’t give him anything, we’re just looking for opportunity. If he’s the best, play him if he’s not, don’t play him.’ And I knew we had a good family and a good person coming in based on that conversation and I figured we’d have a good player not too far behind.”

Yeckring remembered going to the mound last season when Lovelace injured his throwing arm which ended his junior season.

“God works in mysterious ways,” Yeckring said. “I walked out there and looked into his eyes and I got a bad feeling. And I take a lot of pride in taking care of our [pitcher’s] arms, probably a little too much, our guys hate me early in the season, but I’d rather our guys stay healthy than trade it for a couple early season wins. But he worked really hard and he’s healthy now and we’re excited for him to lead us this year.”

Lovelace, a 2023 Mainstreet All Area honorable mention, went 6-1 on the mound with a 2.30 ERA while striking out 39 batters. At the plate, he had a .267 batting average on 12 hits and added 10 runs and five RBIs.

The Raiders pitcher said he’s healed from the injury that ended his junior season.

“Last year I was pitching against P.K. Yonge and I felt a pop in my elbow after I threw and it turns out it was my funny bone nerve popping out. It wasn’t anything too bad, but it did put me out the rest of the season, so a lot of rehab,” he said.

Going into his final high school season, Lovelace has his sights set high for his team.  

“Get a district championship, bring home a trophy maybe, go to state, have fun with the boys and just live out my senior year,” he said.

Lovelace will follow in his family’s footsteps and attend SF College. 

“It’s close by and all my family’s been there,” he said. “My brother played college baseball there a few years back and my mom and dad went there for school, so I just wanted to keep the whole family going there.”

He will also join former teammate Kyler Nowling, who graduated from SFHS in June and signed to play with SF.

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