Lamberti has high hopes for 2017 baseball season
Matt Gad – Sports Writer
Nick Lamberti, who is beginning his second year at Southern, is actually a senior. The East Haven native transferred from UConn two years ago, and since he went to a lower division he was able to play right away.
“I wanna make it to a regional and a World Series this year,” Lamberti said, referring to the NCAA Division II postseason tournament. “I led the team in hits and stolen bases last year after being redshirted at UConn.”
Lamberti was one of several baseball student-athletes who transferred to Southern’s program two years ago. These athletes moved schools, and divisions, for a fresh start, and a chance at some more playing time, as well.
“Now he bats number two in our lineup, behind Jim Palmer,” head coach Tim Shea said. “And first time transfers can play right away – the transition is very, very smooth.”
Shea said that players are “transferring for an opportunity.” He described the transition as “seamless” and that the program typically draws in a lot of Connecticut natives.
However, Lamberti made it clear he is committed to the Owls these days. “[UConn] is two years in the past – it’s just motivation for me. I’m focused on rebounding from 16-25-1,” he said. “That’s my goal.”
The team’s goals continue to center around fixing last year’s holes, a year when they only managed to win a mere 16 games. But team chemistry sure plays a contributing factor in getting back on track, and Shea said they have a very strong “player-coach relationship.”
“It’s a big focus in our program,” said Shea. “That part just falls into place pretty naturally – we do a lot of team-building stuff and we all resemble a pretty tight-knit bond.”
And that’s definitely felt on the player’s side of things, too, according to Lamberti. He said everyone bonds really well on and off the field, and that chemistry is just a huge trait.
“We all bond really well and we are always with each other on and off the field,” he said. “Chemistry is a huge trait because you don’t want any cancers on the team – you just all want to be in it together.”
Lamberti said one of his personal goals is to qualify for first-team all-conference, saying last year that he qualified for the all-rookie team honor. He said he is just motivated to build on last year’s “great success.”
“We are excited about the team that we have,” Shea said. “This Florida trip went very well for us. The performance wasn’t necessarily unexpected but we just hope to keep it going.”
The team plays today at 3:30 p.m. against Adelphi University and before beginning a home series with the College of Saint Rose. April 1 will be a 1 and 3 p.m. doubleheader and on April 2 first pitch is set for 1 p.m.
Going forward, Lamberti said the team needs to just continue working harder and getting better each day.
Photo Credit: SCSU Athletic Communications