Zambron sets GV and GLIAC saves records
In sports, if athletes are measured by what they do under pressure and when the game is on the line, few may be better than Grand Valley State University closer senior Brad Zambron.
Zambron set the GVSU and GLIAC saves record when he recorded his 28th career save in a 5-4 victory over Winona State University.
“He’s the guy we want in the game with the ball in his hand at the end when the game is on the line,” said head coach Jaime Detillion. “He brings an excellent mentality into the game at the end. He’s definitely very worthy of having a record like that. We’re very happy for him to have gotten it. He’s a very selfless team player.”
Zambron is coming off a season that saw him appear in 30 games, going 1-1 with a 0.52 ERA, 16 saves and 22 strikeouts in 34.2 innings pitched. He managed to allow only two earned runs all season long and began last year with 22.2 innings of scoreless relief.
For Zambron, his attack-first mentality has led him to success, and his attacking mentality shows in the stats, as he only allowed three walks in 2012.
“I just try to go in and throw good strikes around the plate and let themselves get out at the plate,” Zambron said. “My mindset has always been attack the hitter, and make him swing and get himself out before I walk him.”
When games are on the line, the Lakers feel comfortable sending out one of the top closers in the GLIAC. The confidence extends to everyone in the dugout and out on the field.
“As soon as he steps foot on the field when we give him the call in the last inning, I think our confidence in our team skyrockets and they think that the game is over,” Detillion said. “The positive transfer of faith to have in him is like the game is over when we hand him the ball. That’s the type of confidence that we have. With him out there, when he crosses the line, the coaching staff and the entire team think game, set, match – lights out, the game is over.”
Barring any injury or unforeseen circumstances, Zambron is set to become the all-time saves leader in Division II. The current record is held by Jake Williams of Erskine College, who has four more saves than Zambron and recorded 32 saves in a career that spanned from 2004 to 2007.
“It’ll mean a lot to me because it’s obviously something that is hard to do and not everyone gets an opportunity to have a record like that, especially at a national level,” Zambron said about setting the record. “Those are pretty cool things.”
GVSU’s opponents may be seeing more of Zambron in the future, as Detillion hinted that he could be seeing some starts in the future this season. The experience will be nothing new for Zambron since he started games in high school and in his freshman year at GVSU.
“He may get some starts as well, and some closing time too,” Detillion said. “He’s been great in terms of how he helps the team and what he’s gonna bring to the table this year. With how good he competes and throws strikes, we want to expand the number of innings that he gets a chance to throw in.”