Illinois Infielder Picks AState

All it took was one more look at the Arkansas State campus to convince Neil Lambert that Jonesboro was his future home.

A senior at Pontiac Township in Illinois, Lambert made his official visit to A-State over the weekend and by the time he left town he had given a pledge to Red Wolves coach Tommy Raffo.

“I just really liked everything,’’ he said.

“I had been there for a quick visit on our way back from a tournament in July. This time we got to see a lot more of the campus. I loved it. I love the coaches, they are all great guys. I like the school, the community.

“I’m excited about getting an opportunity to play in the Sun Belt. It is a great baseball league.”

Lambert, 5-11, 160, is a left-handed hitting middle infielder who plays mostly shortstop for his high school team and his summer team. He has earned all-conference honors the last three seasons and was Prep Baseball Report All-State.

“I don’t do too much else left-handed,’’ he said. “But when I started playing I picked up a bat and it just felt natural. I play golf left-handed, but not very well.”

He made his official visit this past weekend along with A-State commit Garrett Huff of Genoa Central, right-handed hitting a middle infielder. He visited Jonesboro with his parents and his older brother, who played baseball at Indiana.

“The community was great,’’ he said. “You could tell they really support the school. I got the meet some of the players. I love the coaches and the campus.”

He chose the Red Wolves over offers from Kansas State, Central Michigan and Murray State.

“Warm weather played a factor,’’ he said. “I’m from 80 miles south of Chicago so I am used to going out in 40 degrees and playing.

Lambert is the fifth commitment for the Red Wolves for the fall signing period. He joins Huff, right-handed pitcher JD Miller of Sylvan Hills and Crowder (Mo.) Community College, right-handed pitcher Peyton Culbertson of Collierville, Tenn., and left-handed pitcher Brandon Stuckenschneider of Poplar Bluff, Mo.

“I have played mostly shortstop but I don’t mind playing second. I just want to get out there and play and help the team win.”