Jordan Lala is using his speed and approach at the plate to ignite the University of Tampa’s potent offence in his first year with the program.
The local native has a solid ability to get on-base, showcased by his .461 OBP and team-leading 24 walks, allowing the rest of the lineup to do some serious damage offensively.
“We trust our guys to drive us in and we’ve been doing a pretty good job of that lately,” said Lala, on a Zoom interview. “Whatever helps the team win.”
The Spartans offence has done an excellent job of bringing him home, as the junior has scored the second-most runs on the team with 28.
“I just do whatever I can to find a way on base. I know if I get on base I got a pretty good chance of scoring and helping the team win,” said Lala. “At the plate, I’m just trying to hit the ball hard or be patient or to where I can find my way on.”
The transfer from the University of Miami is also showing noticeable improvements at-bat. Lala hit .252 in his three years with the Hurricanes but has since been off to a hot start at the plate hitting .314 for the Spartans.
“I’m always working on my swing, my approach at the plate and my two-strike approach. I’m always working on stuff like that in the gym,” said Lala. “So I was trying to get stronger and keep my speed there.”
The outfielders’ stolen base numbers don’t stand out at you for someone with his speed – Lala leads the team with five – but that’s due to the rest of the lineup’s ability to drive him in.
“He’s the catalyst of the offence,” said Coach Joe Urso. “As a leadoff hitter when he gets on base the offence really clicks and that’s where you see a lot of our runs scored.
“There’s a lot of different ways to get on base with walks, just putting balls in play, putting pressure on the defence and Jordan has done a great job of that in his career. And now is doing a great job with us.”