Lamberti breaks records, leads team to playoffs
Matt Gad—Sports Writer
In his redshirt senior season, Nick Lamberti has been thriving. He recently broke the school record for stolen bases with 77 swiped bags, passing Marc Potocsky and moving to fifth on the all-time hit list. This puts him ahead of former Owl and current Hamden head coach Chris Borelli with 218 hits.
“Chris Borelli was a great hitter and a great coach now and Marc, I mean, it’s an honor,” Lamberti said. “I go out and just do my thing and have some fun and whatever happens, happens- but, at the end of the day, it’s a great achievement for me.”
Lamberti has batted .326 through the regular season, playing in 43 of the team’s 45 games. He registered 145 at-bats, where he was able to score 32 runs and gather 57 hits and 35 RBI. He also finished with an impressive percentage of successful steals, 83%, 19 bases in 22 tries.
“Nick’s had a great four-year career. [He’s an] All-Conference performer every year, and no doubt he’ll get it again this year. He’s always hit and hit, but really where he’s improved is his outfield play; he’s helped tremendously and he’s an aggressive guy—he likes to steal bases and really do whatever it takes to help his team win,” coach Tim Shea said.
Potocsky stole 76 bases from 2000-2002 with Mike Diaz, who played from 2006-2008, trailing behind him with 73. Glen Maxwell, who played from 1995- 1998, finished his career with 66, Shane Russell wrapped things up in 1997 with 64 stolen bags, and Kevin Bowerman, an Owl from 2006-2009, went out with 63.
“He’s a guy we’ll really miss and he’ll be difficult to replace,” Shea said. “[Lamberti] always batted at the top of our lineup — the first couple years he was a two-hitter, this year he’s our three-hitter, but he’s gonna be very difficult to replace.”
Lamberti came out of East Haven High School with a record-setting .600 batting average, 42 hits and 25 steals. In his final high school season he swung to a .460 clip to push his team to the playoffs.
He was recruited by UConn and spent a brief time there, but ultimately transferred to the Owls after just one season playing base the Huskies. Lamberti said Southern became a good fit partially because of the relationships he had with the players already on the team.
“In life, you have obstacles and you have to overcome them, and Coach Shea gave me an opportunity four years ago and told me right off the get-go to do me…[there are] guys on this team I played with in high school; New Haven guys, Milford…you play these guys in high school and you create a bond with them,” he said.
But since Lamberti committed pretty quickly to the Huskies when he was finishing up his time at East Haven, Shea did not really spend too much time recruiting him.
“We knew he was a great player, so once he gave us a call we knew he’d be a great fit for us. And he hasn’t disappointed; each and every year he’s done it offensively, he’s done it defensively and he’s done it on the bases and, like I said, he’s gonna be a tough guy to replace,” Shea said. “So once his redshirt year [at UConn] was over and he wanted to get more opportunities, I was pleasantly surprised that we were at the top of his list.”
Since the transfer duo of Lamberti and redshirt senior infielder Jim Palmer, who transfered the University of Rhode Island teamed up, the Owls have made one playoff appearance and finished with a combined record of 83-90-2.
While he has been a member of the baseball program for the past three years, he said he has prided himself in setting goals and going out there to accomplish them, like steals.
“Before a season starts you set goals for yourself, and those are two things I can live by when I get older and stuff,” he said. “Everybody has an obstacle in their life and God had a different plan for me, but when I came here I had the opportunity to showcase my skills.”
Photo Credit: Will Aliou