Westover baseball player Nick Lane, center, was all smiles Thursday after signing with Albany State. He was joined by, from left, brother Josh, father Darryl, mom Beth and sister Jordan. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ALBANY — There’s not much Nick Lane can’t do on the baseball diamond, and now he will do it for Albany State.
A bond with former teammates, a respect for the program and the proximity to home were more or less a triple play for Lane, who signed a letter-of-intent to accept a baseball scholarship to ASU on Thursday afternoon in the Westover media center.
Lane is hoping for a big year with the Patriots this spring before he heads to ASU, where he could pitch, play the infield, outfield or even get behind the plate and catch.
“He can do everything except play third, short and second,’’ Westover baseball coach Kevin Fretwell said. “They recruited him as a pitcher, but they can put him in the outfield or at first base, and he was the best catcher I had. They are getting a bonus with Nick.’’
Lane hit over .300 and stole 14 bases, and on the mound the lefty went 5-3 with a 3.70 ERA — which is only slightly lower than his 3.78 GPA, a fact Lane can appreciate. He’s a math junkie, who loves math as much as baseball, and he plans on becoming a college math professor some day.
It was simple addition that led him to ASU.
“I was looking at a few schools, but at I know everybody over at Albany State,’’ he said. “One of my best friends, Jacob Campbell, who graduated from Westover two years ago, is playing there, and I know a lot of the players.
“Jacob and (current Westover pitcher) Robert Daniel have helped me a lot and always been there for me,’’ Lane added. “Being familiar with Albany State made a difference.’’
Fretwell said he expects Lane to succeed at the next level.
“He has a tremendous work ethic,’’ he said. “He works hard, and you never have to tell him (anything). He comes out and gets the work in, and he doesn’t waste time. He uses it as quality time. They are getting a bonus at Albany State. He can do so many things to help a team win.‘’