Hits were hard to come by for either team Wednesday in Lambert’s 3-0 shutout victory over West Forsyth.
Longhorns senior Braden Bamburowski kept West Forsyth hitless through his first 5 ⅔ innings on the mound. He ended throwing 6 ⅔ innings, allowing two hits and three walks while striking out 11.
“That was a great performance,” Lambert head coach Rick Howard. “We all know [Bamburowski] is capable of going out and doing that. He was good.”
The two teams combined for only eight hits, with three of those coming in the seventh inning.
Despite recording the loss in the game, Wolverines pitcher Peter Berg threw his best performance of his high school career on Monday night.
West head coach Jim Ernst said that Berg pitched to his teammates on Saturday and showed off a slider that he didn't have in past starts.
“Once we saw that, the coaches said that it was time to get him up there and let him ride that slider,” Ernst said. “I’ll tell you what, he had them off-balance. He’s definitely earned more starts in the future.”
Berg threw the first six innings for West, allowing one earned run in the first inning off of a walk and a RBI single by Justin Hankins. He responded by striking out the next two batters and let only five more Lambert base-runners on through the next four innings.
Howard said he was frustrated with his team’s offense approach against Berg, but had to “give him immense credit” at the same time.
“We took some big cuts and underneath a lot of pitches ... flying out on a lot of pitches,” Howard said. “We need to do a better job of shortening up and knowing the zone a little better. But [Berg] kept us off-balance and located his pitches well.”
Robert Bottoms broke up Bamburowski’s no-hitter in the sixth with an opposite-field single, which was the approach Ernst said he wishes his team had taken at the plate throughout the ballgame.
“I think we could have had a better approach,” Ernst said. “We could’ve stayed toward the middle of the field a little bit more and that’s something we talked about.”
After West’s Jake Fernandez got an opposite-field single off of Bamburowski with two outs in the seventh inning, Howard brought in Nate Dvorsky, who struck out pinch-hitter Luke Heindl to end the game.
Not that Lambert ended up needing the runs, but the big offensive performance came with two outs in the top of the seventh. After Parker Brosius walked, Jack Stewart hit a line drive up the middle for a base hit.
A Haskins walk brought Colin Linder to the plate. He sent West relief pitcher Andrew Maurer’s pitch against the right-field fence for a two-run double.
“That was awesome,” Howard said. “You have the tendency to let guys shut the door with two outs, but we needed those leadoff guys to get on. That was a big, big hit for Jack, and then Linder came in and did exactly what we needed him to do.”
West (9-9, 4-3 Region 6-7A) will get a chance for revenge against the Longhorns on Wednesday at Lambert High School. Ernst said he expects to see a right-handed pitcher and will change the team's approach at the plate.
“We’re gonna hit tomorrow, and before the game on Wednesday, and keep talking about our approach at the plate and not keep trying to jack the ball over the left-field fence,” Ernst said.
Lambert (11-5, 3-1 Region 6-7A) play a weather makeup game at home against Denmark before hosting the Wolverines for game two of the series. Lambert beat Denmark 8-3 in their first game on Friday.
Wednesday’s rematch will start at 6:15 p.m.