It’s a good name for what Southern baseball has become for local talents looking for a chance to play collegiately. Especially for those coming from Division 1 programs, like Jimmy Palmer.
“It felt good coming back here,” Palmer said. You know a lot of guys on the team. You don’t feel like a new kid and everything feels weird.”
Palmer graduated from Law and went to the University of Rhode Island. He says he always wanted more playing time, so he decided to transfer. He would have had to redshirt if he went to another Division 1 school, so instead he went with a familiar face in D-2.
“Coach Shea called me. Back in the day I played for him. I played for an Owls travel team, so I knew what he was about,” Palmer said.
It was the same story for Nick Lamberti. The East Haven star went to UConn, but was redshirted and decided to transfer.
“First guy that came to mind was coach Shea,” he said.
Shea says he knows players transferring in want playing time, but they have to battle just like everyone else.
“Promises are never made. You come and compete, they know that our roster’s limited,” Shea said.
Mike Giordano, a former Brien McMahon star, has made the most of his chance to play. He was redshirted at URI last season and this year he acheived his goal of playing a college game in front of his parents.
“That was a fun time, I always dreamed about that,” he said. “After getting redshirted, you never know, you could get injured one day. Something could happen.”
He says he was thinking of going to Pace or a junior college. But Shea made Southern too good to turn down.
“There’s a lot of good things going on here. It’s actually an easy sell,” Shea said.
Shea’s connections with coaches across the region have helped him recruit college transfers. But he’s right. What could be an easier sell then coming back home?
“It’s basically my home town, I grew up out here. There’s nothing better than playing for your hometown,” said Lamberti.