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Baseball: South Forsyth rolls to win behind Jain's pitching, Hudson's homer
South Forsyth senior Brennan Hudson is greeted by teammate Britton Rellinger after hitting a home run Monday during the War Eagles' 3-1 win against Lambert. - photo by David Roberts

Yash Jain had trouble locating his first four pitches Monday. 

He had little difficulty doing much else after that as South Forsyth's junior pitcher held Lambert to just one run through six innings during the War Eagles' 3-1 win.

"I couldn't do it without my boys," Jain said. "With everyone behind me in the dugout, and one of my best friends being the catcher, supporting me every single pitch, there's no better environment for me to be in. I love it. We're family."

Jain opened the outing by walking Lambert leadoff batter Parker Brosius on four pitches. He responded by striking out Bradley Gabriel and getting Justin Haskins to line out to before Colin Linder lofted a pop fly that South's defense lost in the sky, allowing Brosius to score.

Only one other runner reached third base during Jain's six innings of work as he managed to extinguish a potent Lambert lineup. That came in the fifth inning, when Haskins led off the inning with a single and advanced to third after a Nathan Dvorsky single and Ben Hayes flyout. 

But Jain buckled in and got Jonny Smith to bounce into a fielder's choice to end the inning.

Jain's composure comes partly from his battery mate, Britton Rellinger.

"It's just good," Jain said. "I feel like we're on the same wavelength a lot, like when it comes to what pitch I want to throw and stuff like that. When I get down a little bit, like today when I get runners on, he picks me up."

South's offense had provided all the offense Jain needed by the second inning, as Alex Urias scored on an error in the first inning, then tripled home Tyler Bayer in the following inning.

Urias went 1-for-3 and reached base three times with a hit batsmen and a stolen base.

Brennan Hudson added some insurance in the fifth inning with a no-doubt home run, his second in the past week. He also stroked a double down the right-field line in the first inning to put Urias in scoring position. 

"We moved him up," South coach Russ Bayer said. "Usually he's been in the three- or four-hole, but we put him in the two-hole tonight kind of on a whim, but also to change some things up. I feel pretty good that it worked out."

Similar to Jain, Lambert starting pitcher Ashton Smith had settled into a groove after a rocky first inning until Hudson's homer. Smith pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up three runs — two earned — on six hits while striking out eight. 

Dvorsky was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate to lead Lambert's offense but was twice erased at second base by an inning-ending fielder's choice.

Jain scattered five hits across six innings, surrendering just one unearned run while striking out three and walking two.

Jain kept Lambert off-balance by mixing multiple pitches, including a lively curveball and a changeup he said is his favorite pitch to throw.

"Ever since I was young, that's something I've worked on a lot," Jain said. "I never really threw the hardest, but if I had multiple pitches I could throw, it worked. It's just something that I've worked a lot on and tried to polish it up the best I can."

Jain gave way to Colin Brown in the seventh inning, who worked a perfect frame to collect the save.

Jain, who started the season as a reliever, now owns two impressive starts in his past two outings. He pitched a complete game last week in a 9-1 win against North Forsyth, striking out nine and giving up one run on five hits.

"The crazy thing about Yash is that he's new to the school," Bayer said. "He moved down here from Ohio and we really didn't know much about him. We just figured him out during the tryout process. He threw strikes, he was a sponge, and he just works his tail off. He does a tremendous job — heck of a teammate. He's progressively gotten better each time out."

South [16-8, 7-6 Region 6-7A] remains in third place and will travel to West Forsyth at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday. 

Lambert [15-10, 8-6 Region 6-7A] owns a half-game lead over South — plus the tiebreaker — in second place and will travel to region leader Denmark at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday.