Lombardo Hoping To Bring UConn A National Championship
January 11, 2023
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Lombardo Hoping To Bring UConn A National Championship
TRUMBULL, Ct. - What Vinny Lombardo called “a very fast recruiting process” ended close to home with a commitment to the University of Connecticut.
“My first time I was in touch with a college coach was with TCU six months ago,” Lombardo reflected. “After that I went to a Seton Hall camp and they gave me an offer. I was supposed to go to a Maryland and BC camp but UConn offered and I took that.”
Mike Morris, Lombardo’s head coach with his travel team Grind, helped bring interest from Connecticut and an invite to a camp followed.
“I did well at the camp,” Lombardo related. “While I was there I got to see all the facilities and they really impressed me. Everything was brand new.
“Then I had a Facetime with (head) coach (Jim) Penders and he gave me an overview,” Lombardo continued. “I asked him a bunch of questions and was impressed with everything UConn had to offer.”
That was a month ago and an offer followed not long after.
“Coach (Jeff) Hourigan talked to my coach and said they like what they saw in me,” the top-rated 2026 outfielder in New England noted in reference to the associate head coach at UConn. “A week later I talked to coach Penders and he offered. I accepted a couple of days later.”
The Fairfield Prep freshman pointed to the PBR Future Games as a big factor in his recruitment.
“That really got me a lot of attention and opened up a lot of doors,” Lombardo explained. “I talked to TCU because of the Future Games and my coach with the Grind was in touch with Maryland and Georgia Tech. PBR really helped me a lot in my recruitment. I did my first PBR last March and I got to see my stats and see what I need to improve on. Then going to the Future Games really got me to see the competition and that really helped.
“All the tournaments with the Grind also helped me improve my skills,” Lombardo added. “The only hard part was talking to coaches. I was really nervous at first. It was all new to me.”
Improvement was vital in getting noticed.
“Early on when UConn came to see me they didn’t like that I had a hitch in my game, so I really worked on that,” Lombardo said. “They didn’t think I could get around on faster pitching but now I can. Jim Ronai with Competitive Edge also helped me get stronger. I was 130 pounds and now I’m 165.”
A number of tools stood out about the 11th-rated freshman in New England to Connecticut.
“They like how fast I am in the outfield and they like my bat speed,” the 15-year-old related. “They also like my arm and my competitiveness.”
It is part of what Lombardo believes he can provide the Big East Conference program.
“I’ll bring them my competitiveness and leadership,” the second-rated 2026 in the state said. “I will do anything I can to get better and I’ll push my teammates to be the best they can possibly be.”
The idea of staying in state to go to college is a blessing according to Lombardo.
“Connecticut is where my roots are, it’s where I live,” Lombardo explained. “I’m so happy to represent Connecticut. I have a friend, Shaun Flannery, who just committed there and we’d like more talent to stay home and help us win a national championship.
“This is close to home,” added Lombardo. “My family and friends that can come see me play, it’s just an hour from my home.”
There was no doubt about making a decision, according to Lombardo, even at such a young age.
“As soon as they offered I jumped on it,” Lombardo said. “It’s where I’ve wanted to be my whole life. My football team competed there for a state championship and I’ve been there to see UConn play a few times. The Grind has had a few of their players go there and I’m glad to be another one.”
Plans are to major in business and finance according to Lombardo, who describes himself on the ball field as “a power-hitting type centerfielder who usually bats second or third.”
A 3.5 student at Fairfield Prep, Lombardo is happy to have his recruiting process come to an end.
“It’s really exciting,” Lombardo said. “All of my friends and family and coaches have given me so much support and they’re so happy for me. It’s also a big relief. It can be nervous with all the coaches coming to see me play. Now I can just focus on improving my skills.”
As for a future at the university located in Storrs, Lombardo looks ahead with high expectations.
“I want to help UConn get to a national championship game and, hopefully, help them win it,” Lombardo concluded. “I’m going to be a leader and do anything I can to help bring them success and I see myself succeeding there.”
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