With his team trailing 3-1 in the third inning, Armour stepped to the plate and knocked a 2-0 curveball over the fence in left-center field to give the Lions a lead they would not relinquish as Lakeview Academy defeated the Spartans 10-3 during the sixth annual Flowery Branch Invitational.
"That homerun really gave us a shot in the arm, and we needed it," Lions coach Deuce Roark said. "It was huge for him and huge for this team."
Armour didn’t step to the plate with a homerun in mind.
"I was just looking for a good pitch to hit," said Armour, who went 2-for-4 with four RBIs in the win. "It was a great momentum shift and gave confidence to our team."
That momentum shift was needed after West Hall (1-2) built an early lead on the Lions (1-2).
The Spartans got on the board in the first inning after Luis Delgado led off the game with a double down the left-field line and scored on two consecutive passed balls.
Lakeview Academy evened the score in the home-half of the first inning when Haughton Carswell scored on a Ralston Cash single to left.
Carswell finished the game with two hits and three runs scored.
West Hall retook the lead with back-to-back one-run innings, which preceded Armour’s big hit.
With a one-run lead, the Lions called on reliever Tyler Ward to shut down the Spartans offense that scored two unearned runs off Cash, Lakeview Academy’s starting pitcher.
Ward answered the call by giving up two hits and striking out three during his three innings on the mound.
"I was very pleased with our pitching," Roark said. "That’s been the best part of our game so far this year."
The Lions had their first chance to increase their lead in the fourth inning when they loaded the bases with only one out. But West Hall reliever Matt Ginn got out of the jam by striking out the next two batters to keep the deficit at one run.
"I was a little nervous after that," Roark said. "We have to be able to take advantage of those opportunities."
The Lions would take advantage when that same opportunity arose in the next inning.
After Armour led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a single, Angus Ferguson walked, Nick Saye singled, and with the bases loaded and infield drawn in, third baseman Matt Reynolds lined a single up the middle that scored Armour and Ferguson.
Ward helped his cause with a RBI single on the very next pitch and Ray Collison followed that with a perfectly executed suicide squeeze bunt that scored Saye and gave the Lions a 9-3 lead.
The Lions would tack on another run three batters later when Cash singled in Carswell.
The win prevented Lakeview Academy from starting the season 0-3.
"It’s great to get that first win," Armour said. "We’re starting to mesh as a team."
Cash, Reynolds, Ward and Collison all had RBIs for the Lions.
West Hall was led by Delgado and Chan Morris, who both went 1-for-3 with an RBI and Brandon Grindle, whose triple in the third inning gave West Hall a 3-1 lead.
West Hall will play Buford at 4 p.m. today, with the Lakeview Academy-Flowery Branch game to follow. Both games will be played at Hog Mountain Sports Complex in Flowery Branch.