Joshua Zamora is tearing the cover off the baseball, and his hot stretch arrived when the Nevada Wolf Pack needed him most.
The sophomore third baseman is batting .318 with seven hits, three home runs and six RBIs over Nevada’s past five games.
From March 24–27, Zamora homered in three-straight games and his impressive offensive stretch has helped the Pack go 3-3 over its last six games. His production at the plate has been infectious over the team’s recent stretch. The Wolf Pack recorded six-straight games with five or more runs.
Batting leadoff, Zamora catalyzes the Wolf Pack offense. His savvy at the plate is key for Nevada heading into an April full of conference opponents. He’s up to .320 on the season with a team-leading 32 hits, six homers and 19 RBIs with a .942 OPS.
“I’m just trying to keep it simple and see the ball well,” Zamora said. “But it’s not the at-bats that are important, it’s the outcome at the end of the game.”
The 5’11” third baseman’s smooth swing has overshadowed his overall improvement in the infield. From snagging line-drives down the third base line to gunning down runners trying to reach first base off a drag bunt, Zamora isn’t afraid to get the jersey dirty.
“It’s something I have been trying to improve on,” Zamora said. “I think it’s important for my role on the team to be sort of a two-way player and make plays on offense and defense.”
Off the field, Zamora’s impact has the Wolf Pack gaining a sense of momentum heading toward its final two months. Coach T.J. Bruce noticed Zamora’s leadership qualities heading into his sophomore season.
“He’s a guy we can rely on and the rest of the guys feed off his energy,” Bruce said. “The team looks up to him and he’s becoming a real leader for us. That’s important for some of the young guys we have here.”
Growing up in Foothill Ranch, California, Zamora shares something in common with a pair of MLB superstars.
He attended El Toro High School, as did six-time Gold Glove winner and Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado and Oakland A’s third baseman Matt Chapman. Zamora lettered in baseball all four years at El Toro and was named all-league in his junior and senior seasons. His high school team won the California Interscholastic Federation Division 1 Championship in 2017.
The rangy infielder’s breakout freshman season in 2018 led to Nevada’s second-ever Mountain West Conference championship. He earned Mountain West Freshman of the Year and first-team All Mountain West after leading the conference with a .427 batting average. His nine homers and .563 slugging percentage ranked first and second on the team.
Despite gaining momentum as a highly touted prospect, Zamora is focused on leading the Pack to a second consecutive Mountain West Conference title. With solid pitching depth led by southpaw Ryan Anderson, Nevada’s potential postseason run must start on the offensive side of the ball.
“Every single day is a day for us to improve as a whole,” Zamora said. “You are never as good as you want to be and everyone on this team understands that and everyone knows that there’s always something to improve upon.”
Isaiah Burrows can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @SagebrushSports.