The Lambert baseball team knew it was important to start the Region 6-AAAAAA schedule on the right foot, so it wasted no time getting that done.
The Longhorns scored five runs before the first out of the game was recorded and cruised to a 15-5 victory at North Forsyth (6-4, 0-1) on Tuesday to improve their overall record to a perfect 9-0.
“It’s great to be 1-0 in the region, especially coming into Coal Mountain,” said Lambert head coach Jamie Corr. “I don’t care what the final score ended up being, I was never comfortable with a win here. We’re playing a Jim Cahill team, and I know they never give up.”
Lambert’s offense was firing on all cylinders throughout the contest, scoring runs in all but two innings. Leadoff hitter Jeremy Johnson reached home after each of his five of his plate appearances, which included three walks and a two-strike single to kick off the night. Seth Beer had strong performance, as well, going 4-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored.
The early dagger, however, came when Eric Furphy, hitting in the five spot, launched a first inning grand slam to stake the Longhorns to a 5-0 lead.
“It was big to get on them early,” Corr added. “Seth had another great game with four quality at-bats. And Jeremy Johnson, of course, with five quality ABs for us as our table-setter.”
As good as Lambert’s hitting was, its pitching may have been even better. The Longhorn staff surrendered just one walk throughout the match-up and challenged Raider hitters with an aggressive approach.
Starter J.D. Dutka was solid for Lambert despite allowing four runs. His off-speed pitches were effective no matter the count and kept North hitters constantly off balance.
Turner Scruggs, Harrison Lee and Thomas Kubiak closed out the final three innings after Dutka exited, giving up just one run in that span—coming off a solo home run from Raider junior Brant Stark, his second of the year.
And though Lambert only recorded five strikeouts, Longhorn pitchers kept the ball from leaving the infield through most of the night and got quite a bit of help from their defense, as well, which didn’t commit a single error.
“It was a great job by our pitching staff,” said Corr. “You’re going to be in it and have a chance to win when your pitchers throw strikes, and all of our guys did that.
“The guys have confidence because they know they have great defenders behind them. Even when they let someone get on with a hit or the occasional walk, we know we have the gloves to back us up.”
In addition to Stark, senior Harris Roberts fared well at the plate for North, going 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored. But that wasn’t enough to overcome the talented Longhorns, who outplayed the Raiders in virtually every facet of the game.
North will look to rebound on Wednesday at home against Chattahoochee, when coach Cahill’s club will have a chance to even its region record. Lambert, meanwhile, will try to keep moving in the right direction when it visits Alpharetta, also on Wednesday.
“We’re coming out every day with the intention to improve on the previous day’s work,” Corr said. “These kids—they’re best attribute is their work ethic. They come in every day ready to fight and get better.”