AUBURN, Mass. – Senior Zack Tower, an Auburn High School baseball slugger, had a tough decision for next year as he was recruited by several colleges down the east coast. But in the end, the baseball star decided to stay close to his roots.
Tower, a third-baseman, signed his “national letter of intent” on Wednesday to attend the University of Massachusetts-Lowell in fall 2013 and play baseball there on a scholarship.
“It feels great that this long process is over with,” said Tower, who is looking to major in business-management. “UMass-Lowell has a great education, great resources, great team. I feel like it’s going to be a great spot for me."
“Close to home seems better,” Tower added. “Staying close and playing at a college near family was important.”
His family was on-hand at a signing ceremony in the high school gym's foyer. Mark Tower, the baseball star’s father, said that his son has “worked his tail off to get to this point.”
“It’s always been his favorite sport, and he’s worked real hard over his four years here,” Mark said. “Since he’s been a kid playing baseball, I’ve watched him and coached him, so it would have been tough to have him down south playing and not here. So it’s real nice to have him close to home.”
Tower, who also plays on Auburn’s dominant football squad, has been a four-year starter for baseball varsity Coach Eric Swedberg.
“From the beginning, his talent has been there physically, and he’s come a long way emotionally and mentally,” Swedberg said. “We’re going to be proud to send him off. I’m proud of him, and I think he’s made a good choice with Coach [Ken] Harring at UMass-Lowell.
“His size and his ability is there for the next level, and I have confidence that Coach Harring is going to direct him to become a really good college player,” Swedberg added.
The Rockets will be defending their Central Division 2 Championship in the spring, and Swedberg said he is looking forward to another season with Tower at third base.
“Having him here will have a huge impact on the rest of the team,” Swedberg said. “Having a kid playing college ball brings the play-level up since these kids are playing with guys that have a college mentality. So I’m looking forward to that having a really positive impact on the team.”