In an up-and-down baseball season last year, a win didn't come to the Harlem baseball team until the fifth game of the season. Bulldog fans didn't have to wait in 2007: The Harlem squad opened the season Tuesday with a 10-5 win over Lakeside.
It was the first Harlem win over Lakeside in the past five meetings.
"We're tickled to death to beat Lakeside. They're a quality program," Harlem baseball coach Jimmie Lewis said. "(Lakeside baseball coach) Jay Matthews runs a good team, and we don't beat them much."
Lakeside appeared to have the game won after the first two innings when the Panthers held a 5-0 lead. Harlem answered with 10 straight runs, including five in the third inning, to take the victory.
Senior starter Mike Sanders got the win in four innings of work for Harlem with the help of senior reliever Rodney Scruggs.
Sophomore Patrick Gamb-lin led the Bulldogs at the plate. Gamblin, who hit from the No. 8 spot in the lineup, went 2-for-3 with four RBI.
Lewis said that type of come-from-behind win on Tuesday is what Bulldog fans can expect to see this season.
"Our pitchers do a good job, but we don't have shutout pitchers," he said. "We're going to have to hit and scrap and fight our way back into it."
That's what Lakeside did a day after losing to Harlem. The Panthers bounced back from the season-opening loss to take a 14-4 blowout victory over Oglethorpe County on Wednesday.
A day after giving up five earned runs on seven walks in three innings of work, Lakeside senior J.C. Huffman rebounded with a 4-for-4 day at the plate that included a home run and four RBI.
Panther senior Matt Zelgewicz threw a complete-game four-hitter to improve Lakeside to 1-1 on the season.
Both Harlem and Lakeside will return to action on Tuesday at 5 p.m. The Bulldogs will take on Evans at home, while the Panthers will play host to Thomson.
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