WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - Luc Lipcius was worried he'd missed his opportunity.
"It was a big blow to morale, and maybe even my career," Lipcius recalled.
The Lafayette High School product from Williamsburg, who plays first base for the College World Series-bound University of Tennessee, had his 2019 season cut short in March of that year due to a foot injury. The following season, his campaign again ended in March - this time due to the global pandemic.
"At that point, it was like, ‘Oh my God – what else could go wrong?" "I almost didn’t want to go back," Lipcius admitted to News 3 Sports Director Adam Winkler during a Zoom interview Tuesday. "I wanted to take my chances with a free agent deal with the bigs."
It was no small decision, but "the bigs" - the big leagues of professional baseball - would wait. Lipcius returned to Tennessee this year for his fifth at the school. And it's a good thing he did - for all parties involved.
The Volunteers have won 50 of their 66 games this season and are headed to the College World Series for the first time in 16 years. Luc is tied for the team lead in home runs with 15.
"It still feels surreal," Lipcius admitted. "I’m probably the happiest I’ve ever been."
When the Vols open their 2021 College World Series Sunday at 2 p.m. in Omaha, they'll do so against Luc's home state team: The University of Virginia. And Lipcius says it will not be just any other game.
"Personally, I think it’s going to be really weird playing a Virginia school – especially a school that I really wanted to get recruited by but didn’t get the opportunity," Luc said of facing UVA. "So, I think I’ll be playing with a little extra edge that game. I think they’re going to rethink that decision (of not recruiting him) when we play them."
Turns out, Luc Lipcius did not miss his opportunity. But he hopes to remind UVA they missed theirs with him.