Nick Lorenzo is hard to miss on a baseball diamond. You know baseball. Your eyes tend to be drawn to players who play hard.
Lorenzo can often be seen diving to his left or right for a grounder or line drive in the middle infield, or using his excellent speed to steal a base, or taking the extra base when his team needs it most. Yes, he’s one of those players who seems to be jumping out of his skin for a chance to help his team win.
On paper, Lorenzo’s 5-7, 165-pound frame is not one that has college scouts jumping into their cars and racing to showcases to see. Rather he’s a player they may not have accounted for who suddenly turns their head. He’s a ballplayer’s ballplayer.
Lorenzo showed the depth of his game at Pingry School last spring when he batted .330 from the leadoff spot in the Big Blue batting order, accumulating 29 hits, including five doubles and a triple, he drove in 27 runs and stole 13 bases. He drove in 27 runs from the leadoff spot! And he fortified the Pingry defense from his spot at second base.
Lorenzo’s game continued to draw raves and the attention of Division 1 college scouts this summer as he gave the Diamond Jacks Super 16U squad a daily burst of energy.
“It’s just fun watching Nick play the game,” said Super 16U coach Steve DiTrolio, who is also Diamond Nation’s recruiting coordinator. “He sets the table for our offense and has always done a great job in that role.”
Lorenzo, who has transitioned to the Diamond Jacks Super 17-2023 squad this fall, had a terrific summer with Super 16U that included making the all-tournament teams at big time showcases in Georgia and Alabama.
“Summer went great,” said Lorenzo. “I carried the momentum from my high school season into summer. I was confident coming in, too, because I had a great Super 15U year the summer before.”
Lorenzo’s college desires drew him toward high academic schools, such as Columbia, Boston College, Northeastern, UMass-Lowell and Richmond. And as a busy summer turned to August, the recruiting noise in Lorenzo’s life intensified.
Richmond head coach Tracy Woodson, a corner infielder on the 1988 World Series champion L.A. Dodgers, liked Lorenzo when he saw him play in a showcase and shared his thoughts with his assistant coach Josh Epstein. Epstein had just come to Richmond via Monmouth University and knew Lorenzo from his own extensive recruiting work in New Jersey.
“Coach Epstein called me in the middle of August and said he liked the way I played,” said Lorenzo. “He offered me right then with that phone call. I committed about two weeks later.”
Lorenzo was sold on Richmond immediately after taking a tour of the campus in early September and seeing the baseball facilities.
“Coach Woodson told me I’d love the campus and commit right away. He was right,” said Lorenzo. “It’s the best campus I’ve seen. It’s beautiful. And the baseball facilities are getting a $3 million renovation. It’s already better than most Atlantic 10 schools.”
The Diamond Jacks Super 17-2023 team competes in the Garden State Scout League at Diamond Nation in the fall and has its normal tournament schedule on weekends, including a trip to Fort Myers, Florida at the end of the month for a Perfect Game event.
“I’m mainly looking to get my reps in,” said Lorenzo. “I’m not necessarily looking to change anything, just keep working hard. I’m hitting the gym and trying to gain some weight.”
Fall season is a quick one and the winter sets in suddenly as players begin to work on their bodies and fine tune any issues that crop up in their game. Lorenzo does have a trip to Richmond to look forward to in October when he’ll take in the Spiders’ Oct. 16 scrimmage against Vanderbilt, the 2021 College World Series runner-up. Former Diamond Jack Nick Maldonado is a pitcher for Vanderbilt.
“I’ll get in the gym and workout three or four times a week,” says Lorenzo. “I’d love to put on 10-20 pounds of muscle. I’ll get my reps in the cage. I really believe in just getting your work and your reps in.”
Don’t expect Lorenzo to overthink his workouts or the game of baseball, or try to reinvent himself on the fly. He’s too occupied with finding different ways to help his teams win games. What’s more important than that?
NOTES: Richmond assistant Josh Epstein is a 2007 Ramapo College grad and was a team captain his senior season. His baseball journey is a fascinating one, particularly for the fact that he was the No. 11 overall selection in Israel Baseball League’s inaugural 2007 season. He played one season in the league. Epstein subsequently made several stops as a college assistant, including the last three years on head coach Dean Ehehalt’s staff at Monmouth.
Chase Conklin, a sophomore infielder from Bishop Eustace Prep, is the only New Jersey native on the Richmond roster. There are a number of Spiders players who hail from New York and Pennsylvania.