By PETE FONTAINE
Harrison Zambarano could well be part of a trivia question when it comes to baseball and Dunn Field.
The 6-foot, 195-pound junior holds the prestigious position as captain of the Elmira College Soaring Eagles baseball team.
He also plays on the same sacred turf – inside one of the oldest stadiums in the country – where such Major League Baseball icons like Earl Weaver, Lou Piniella, Wade Boggs, Davey Johnson, Don Zimmer and Curt Schilling made stops when they were climbing up the big-league ladder.
The ageless ballyard, which seats 4,020 spectators, was also once home of the Elmira (New York) Red Sox, a Minor League affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.
The son of Louis and Maria Zambarano of Johnston, Harrison recently received high praise from Head Coach Corey Paluga, who leads the NCAA Division III program in the Empire Conference that’s made up of schools from in New York and Pennsylvania.
“Harrison was voted a team captain by his peers and coaches,” Paluga proudly noted about the Johnston resident. “That’s because he exemplifies the culture that we continue to strive to meet. His leadership in the weight room and with our strength program has played a tremendous part in challenging our team to be better in the off-season.”
For those not familiar with college athletics, the weight room is an important part of any athlete’s off-the-field life. It’s also where championships are won – and lost.
Paluga, during a recent interview, said “Harrison plays the game hard and never gives less then one hundred percent when we are on the field. He’s into his third year; he’s done a great job of improving his skill set at the plate and transitioning smoothly from the infield to the outfield.”
The Soaring Eagles skipper, who is in his fourth season and is EC’s first-ever baseball coach, has developed the D-3 ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference) program in his short tenure with players like Zambarano who Paluga said the other day: “Harrison will continue to be an important piece as we evolve the Elmira College baseball program.”
Zambarano, who came to Elmira College after a successful stay at Portsmouth Abbey in Portsmouth, RI where he played baseball and ice hockey.
At the Abbey, he was named an All-Eastern Independent league honorable mention as a senior. A team captain, he was voted the Most Improved Player as a junior. He played goalie on the ice and spent the 2014-15 season with the Rhode Island Hitmen junior hockey team.
At Elmira College, where he is biology major, Zambarano has improved in each of his two seasons as a Soaring Eagle.
He bats left and throw right and as a sophomore played in a career-high 13 games and posted a .273 batting average.
Don Sherman, EC’s outstanding Sports Information Director, noted that Zambarano’s best game as a sophomore came vs. Alfred State University last spring when he went 3-for-4 with three RBI and helped the Soaring Eagles defeat their conference rival.