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Beer slugs Lambert baseball past South Forsyth
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Lambert's Jeremy Johnson slides in under the throw for a steal Friday. Johnson went 4-for-5 at the plate with three RBIs. - photo by Brian Paglia

Seth Beer homered in his first two at bats, setting the tone for Lambert as the Longhorns rolled to a 13-4 road victory Friday night against rival South Forsyth.

Ian Kimbrell and J.D. Dutka also went yard, while leadoff man Jeremy Johnson went 4-of-5 at the plate with a double, a steal, two runs scored and three RBIs. Will Dunavant also had a perfect 4-of-4 performance, including a double, for the Longhorns.

“We had a lot of great at-bats tonight. We hit the ball very hard, had a good approach, stayed within ourselves, I don't know the stats but everybody hit the ball very well,” Lambert coach Drew Ferrer said.  “When you swing it well, you get more comfortable in games, which is what we've been doing.”

Since falling 2-1 at North Forsyth on March 11, the Longhorns (8-2) have gone 4-0 and have outscored opponents 48-10 in that span. While early-season losses to Kennesaw Mountain and the Raiders eventually pushed the Longhorns from national rankings, their offense has returned to form—more importantly, the scoring has returned the team's identity and personality.

“I feel like they are definitely seeing the ball well, hitting the ball well, our pitching has been solid all year, and as long as we continue to do that we're going to be very successful,” Ferrer said. “South did a great job. They've got a good team as well.”

Despite the lopsided result, South coach Russ Bayer never saw any quit in his team. The War Eagles provided some energy for the home crowd in the bottom of the fifth when Justin Graczyk knocked Lambert's starting pitcher, Turner Scruggs, out of the game with a two-RBI double to make the score 9-4.

Even after trailing 11-4 a frame later, the War Eagles (4-6) never let go of their energy in the dugout.

“I'm very proud of the way they've been. They're a mature team and a close knit team,” Bayer said. “Our ultimate goal right now is to get ourselves in position to make the playoffs. Looking at where we were, we're right where we want to be. I'm very proud of the boys. Every time Lambert put runs on the board we came back and put some good swings on them. That's different than how we would have responded in the past.”

Lambert put 20 hits on the board against Caston McDonald and Alec Kliphouse, though Kliphouse managed to strikeout three batters in three frames of relief.

Cole Varner pitched well for Lambert with zero hits or walks allowed and four strikeouts through 2 2/3 innings on the back end.

Lambert will play the third game of a four-game road swing when it faces off with West Forsyth on Monday, while South will play the same day at North.