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LOGANVILLE — Lambert’s final inning in the field Saturday was an ugly reminder of the problem that’s held the team back all season: pitching depth.
Seven different Longhorns pitchers trotted to the mound in the fourth inning of Game 3, as No. 2-ranked Loganville scored nine runs and advanced to the second round of the Class AAAA state playoffs with a 13-0 win over Lambert in five innings in the opening round at home.
Loganville won the first game of the series 6-2, before Lambert earned an 8-2 victory in Game 2 and forced the tiebreaker.
The Red Devils (23-6) delivered the last five of their 14 hits in the fourth inning of Game 3, while Longhorns pitchers walked another six batters. Each time a pitcher issued a walk, Lambert coach Jamie Corr immediately replaced him on the mound.
“We don’t pull guys just because they walk people, we pull them for where they’re missing,” Corr said.
“Every guy we put out there did the absolute best he could, and that’s all we can ask them to do, but if what they do in the bullpen doesn’t translate out into the game, we have to find someone that can get out there and do the job.”
Making the first start of his varsity career, Lambert sophomore Dylan Biumi found himself trailing 2-0 after facing two batters. Biumi gave up a leadoff single to Kyle Hall, before Clint Frazier lined the first pitch he saw over the center field fence for a two-run homer.
Biumi surrendered three consecutive singles to lead off the second inning, but worked out of the jam unscathed by striking out the next three batters. He wasn’t as fortunate in the third, when Loganville boosted the lead to 4-0.
Biumi was pulled in the fourth after he issued a leadoff walk.
“Game 3 of the playoffs and you give a kid his first varsity start, we couldn’t have asked for anything more of Dylan Biumi today,” Corr said. “He showed a lot of guts in very tough situations, being able to come through with pitches and got himself out of jams all day. Going into the fourth scattering four runs was just phenomenal getting out of the jams he did.”
But nothing short of a near flawless outing on the mound would have given Lambert (18-11) a chance against Loganville, which started ace left-hander Christian Miller, one of the top pitching prospects in the state.
Miller pitched all five innings, striking out four and allowing only two hits — both singles by Lambert third baseman Chase Alvord.
Lambert’s lineup will have a dramatically different look next season. The Longhorns lose seven seniors to graduation this spring — most of them starters.