Sterlington 6, Winnfield 0
Ross Lambert authored a four-hit shutout and Austin Mills went 3-for-4 as Sterlington opened District 2-2A play with a 6-0 victory over Winnfield on Tuesday.
Sterlington (13-5, 1-0) went up 1-0 in the bottom of the first and Lambert made the lead stand up.
“Ross came out in the first inning and established the strike zone,” Sterlington coach Mark Sims said. “He got ahead of the hitters and made them swing. His pitches were moving. It was an outstanding job by Ross.”
Lambert, who struck out five and walked two, was backed by a solid defense.
“Defensively, we played well,” Sims said. “(Right fielder) Zac Corrent made a couple of good catches and (center fielder) Jacob Barr made a diving catch.
“Winnfield's outfield played well, too. Their center fielder made several nice catches.”
Pulling away in the late innings, the Panthers added two in the fifth and three in the sixth.
“It was a battle,” Sims said. “They hung in there tight. We were able to get a couple of guys on and make some things happen late in the game.”
Sterlington, which stole four bases in as many attempts, executed a double steal en route to breaking the game open.
With runners at the corners, Devon Murphy drew a throw while swiping second, enabling Mills to steal home.
Murphy's RBI single and Barr's squeeze bunt helped the Panthers build a sizable lead.
“It's always good to start out 1-0 in district,” said Sims, whose team is scheduled to host Oak Grove on Thursday at 6 p.m., weather permitting. “Hopefully, we can beat the weather and get the Oak Grove game in.”
Haman went 2-for-4 to complement Mills' 3-for-4 effort. Kyle Vandergracht and Murphy added base knocks for the Panthers.
Lambert improved to 4-2, while lowering his ERA to 1.56. In 27 innings, Lambert has 26 punchouts against 13 walks.
Spencer Davis (5-0, 3.17) picked up the win as the Panthers notched a 10-7 road victory over Caldwell on Saturday. Working a staff high 28 2/3 innings, Davis has recorded 25 strikeouts, while walking 15 and allowing 22 hits.
Haman leads the Panthers in batting average (.440), runs (31), walks (22), stolen bases (5-for-6) and doubles (8) and is tied with Tyler Buffington for the team lead in home runs with two. His 14 RBI are third on the team.
Mills is next with a .429 batting average, 15 RBI, 25 runs, four stolen bases in four attempts and a team-best six sacrifices.
Murphy is hitting at a .315 clip, with a home run, six doubles and a team-best 16 ribbies.
Other offensive leaders include Corrent (.333, 12 RBI) and Buffington (2 HRs, 13 RBI).
As a team, the Panthers are batting .294, while stealing 23 bases in 25 tries.
Closing out a five-game homestand, the Panthers entertain Caldwell on Saturday at 1 p.m. and Jonesboro-Hodge on Tuesday at 5, before visiting Winnfield for a return game on Thursday.