Liberty senior Jack Lambert is playing his third infield position in as many years this season. He has moved to third base after playing first base last season and helping the Lions reach the state semifinals. Lambert was a shortstop his sophomore season. He hit .344 last season for Liberty, with 12 RBIs and nine runs. Lambert was an honorable mention choice last season on the All-Monocacy Valley Athletic League Piedmont Conference team. Lambert's coach, Erik Barnes, said he likes his third baseman's offensive contributions but has been even more impressed with his positive attitude, making him a role model for the younger players. Lambert said he is not related to Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Lambert, and he is named after his grandfather, Jack Lambert, who lives in the Pittsburgh area. Liberty's Lambert has a 3.9 grade point average and plans to major in English or journalism in college.
Which infield position have you enjoyed playing the most?
I really enjoyed playing first last year. We had a great infield last season, which made it really easy. There was less stress [than shortstop the previous year] and I was playing on a really good team.
How disappointing was it to move from shortstop early last season?
I'm not going to lie - it was very disappointing. I spent most of the offseason last year trying to get there [at shortstop]. But Coach Barnes put it in these terms: I wasn't getting the job done and he was going to make a change. I told him I would do my best at first base and it really worked out. There were a couple of balls I wasn't getting at short. It wasn't as much what I wasn't doing, but what the guy [Chris Lawrence] who came in behind me was doing. He played a fantastic shortstop the rest of the year.
How good is Liberty this year?
It's going to be interesting. We're a very young team. If our pitchers throw strikes and we play some good defense behind them, we got some capability to do some things. It's going to be fun to see us.
What has been the toughest thing adjusting to third base?
The first step - reaction time. At shortstop, I was so far back. At first, all I had to do was stop the ball and walk over to first. The reaction of seeing the ball hit right off the bat and taking that first step is an adjustment.
What are your future plans for college and baseball?
This is probably going to be it competitively. I'm going to William & Mary in the fall, but not to play baseball.
Has it been interesting being named Jack Lambert?
Yes, when I go down to Pittsburgh to see my grandfather and we go out to eat, we have people reacting to the two Jack Lamberts all the time. Especially the waiters and waitresses. They have a lot of fun with it.
What's been the biggest hit you ever had at Liberty?
In the regional playoffs last year, I had a double off Frederick's Wes Gross in a 5-4 victory. It was our first hit of the game.