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Big Red routs Lambert, 18-3
Gainesville's Will Maddox races down the line as Lambert first baseman Scott Schlesinger is pulled off the bag by the throw Monday in Suwanee. - photo by Jared Putnam
SUWANEE — The showdown for sole possession of first place in Region 7B-AAA turned out to be a little bit anticlimactic.

Loaded with young talent, No. 4-ranked Gainesville and first-year Lambert both entered Monday’s game with perfect 8-0 region records and double-digit winning streaks.A

But after the first nine Gainesville hitters were retired in order, the Red Elephant offense exploded.

Gainesville scored 10 runs in the fourth inning and added eight more in the sixth, cruising to an 18-3 victory over Lambert in six innings.

Although the Longhorns (10-4 overall, 8-1 Region 7B-AAA) came into the day averaging more than 10 runs scored per game over their last 10 contests, Gainesville (14-1, 9-0) freshman pitcher Hunter Anglin (6 innings, 7 hits, 3 earned runs, 4 strikeouts) held the Longhorns to just one run through five innings before surrendering a pair of meaningless runs in the bottom of the sixth.

“They’re a great hitting ball club,” Lambert coach Jamie Corr said of Gainesville. “Anglin did a great job on the mound as well, and they certainly made a statement tonight that they’re one of the top contenders for the [Class] AAA crown.”

Lambert starting pitcher Micah Mabe got off to a strong start and needed just 11 pitches to get through the first two innings.

The Longhorns rewarded him with a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, when David Broadus doubled to right field and later scored on a single by Zack Schlosser.

But everything came unglued in the top of the fourth, as Gainesville’s Stephen Mason (1-for-2, RBI, three runs) drew a leadoff walk and Will Maddox (2-for-4, with a double, three RBIs, three runs) reached on an error while attempting a sacrifice bunt. K.J. McAllister followed by looping a single into shallow right-center, allowing Mason to score and tie the game 1-1.

Sloan Strickland and Ryan Griffith followed with back-to-back singles that both snuck through the right side of the infield — Griffith’s giving Gainesville a 2-1 lead. A passed ball added another run, and after a walk to Anderson Loggins, Corr brought in Eric Reagan to replace Mabe on the mound.

Reagan couldn’t stop the bleeding, though, as Gainesville tacked on six more runs with the help of four singles, an error and a wild pitch.

Matt Dozier became Lambert’s third pitcher of the inning and finally got his team off the field by inducing fly outs from Strickland and Griffith, but not before he was charged with a balk that brought in Gainesville’s 10th run.

“It was one of those innings where they could do no wrong. ... They just put the ball where it needed to placed,” Corr said. “Couple that with some mistakes we made and they ... turned it into a really big inning.”

“We hit the ball well, but we also had some breaks,” Gainesville coach Jeremy Kemp said. “They had a couple of errors and [other] miscues ... and it kind of added on.”

And the Red Elephants added on as well, scoring eight more runs in the top of the sixth, capped off by a three-run home run off the bat of Jimmy Kemp. The Longhorns were forced to turn to a fourth pitcher, Josh Eskew, to finish the game.

The loss snapped a 10-game winning streak for Lambert, while the Red Elephants rolled to their 13th consecutive victory.

“This just means we’re 9-0 [in the region] and they’re 8-1,” Kemp said. “We’ve got to win a lot more games until we can do anything else. We’re trying not to look too far ahead.”

Gainesville travels to Jasper on Wednesday to face Pickens in a 5:30 p.m. matchup. Lambert faces White County at 5:30 p.m. in Cleveland.

The Red Elephants and Longhorns are scheduled to go head-to-head again during the regular season finale April 30 in Gainesville.
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