Baseball season is in full swing, and the Dryden Purple Lions are looking to take the next step and build upon last year’s finish. After an opening day loss to Waverly, the Lions bounced back with a pair of wins last week, quickly extinguishing the somber emotions from opening day. With a schedule that poses its fair amount of challenging games in the future, Head Coach Andrew Lampman’s squad has proven itself ready for the fight.
A strong offense is important for any team to be victorious, and that is no different for the Lions. The team fills out a lineup of veteran hitters who are not only experienced in the batter’s box but also seasoned in the mentoring process for the younger players.
The season, while starting off with a loss, already shows signs of maturity within the lineup and signs of great things to come in Dryden.
With his team ready to get into the heart of the season, Lampman spoke about the early goings.
Mark Shelley: With the talent that has returned to the lineup this season, how important is veteran leadership going to be for your team?
Andrew Lampman: Veteran leadership is a huge part of any team’s success. Having seven returning starters from the previous year is a luxury that I have not had in my tenure here at Dryden. A lot of these guys are seniors and have been with the program for the last few years. It is great, as a coach, to have that experience, to rely on the guys to put in the work, day in, and day out.
MS: The season started with a tough loss. How has your team moved on to focus on the rest of the season?
AL: The season did start off a little bumpy, but I think it was a good wake up call for the guys on the team to understand that nothing is given in this world. They have to put the work in, and they earn everything. As much as that first loss was painful, it was also a great learning experience for a lot of the guys to understand that they need to come and play every game if they want the success that they say they want. We have moved on from that loss incredibly quickly. We were lucky to have two games against division opponents later last week that helped us move on from it. The team came into the games against Odessa-Montour/Watkins-Glen and Newark Valley with a little more focus and energy. That helped us earn those two victories.
MS: Adam Buttaccio has started the season red-hot. What have you seen out of the senior, in terms of his readiness for the season?
AL: Adam is one of those veteran leaders that I spoke of. He was elected a captain by his teammates this year. He is a very educated hitter and is great at understanding his swing and making adjustments to be more successful at the plate. He has put in a lot of work over the offseason and it shows. His work ethic is second to none. He puts in the effort and outworks everyone at practice and I am very happy with his daily preparation.
MS: Through the first two games, your team has stolen eight bases. How much do you stress aggressive base running?
AL: I wouldn’t say we are aggressive on the base-paths. We more so take what is given to us. We are very proactive on the base-path which helps us with our success stealing bases.
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