In the finale of a three-game series against Tri-Cities, the right hander struck out 11 batters while surrendering just one run and three hits in six innings of a 9-1 victory last Friday.
“He’s been great all year,” Westlake coach Jerome Walton said. “He goes out there and takes care of business. He doesn’t back down from anybody. He goes out there and throws strikes, makes them swing the bat. He keeps the ball around the plate and gives us a chance to win.”
Matthew Reed had two RBI, and Malcolm Boyce, Koran Coleman and Thomas Reese all drove in a run apiece for Westlake, which also swept Tri-Cities for its fifth straight win.
“Unfortunately, we have to go into the break playing good but hopefully we will have a good week of practice,” Walton said.
With a 1-0 edge before his first appearance on the mound, Lester did not take long to place his mark on the game. Despite giving two batters a free pass, Lester bounced back to strike out the final two batters.
In the second inning, Lester struck out two more batters swinging during the 1-2-3 frame. The right hander got some more run support in the third when Boyce drove in a run and scored along with Jermar Walton and Reese on separate throwing errors for a 5-0 advantage.
“The guys at the top of the lineup have done a great job of getting on and getting everything started,” Jerome Walton said. “If they get on, we are going to have a good game—bottom line.”
In the third, Lester remained sharp striking out two batters looking. After giving up his first hit in the fourth, Lester struck out the next two batters to at least preserve the shutout.
During the next inning, Westlake (10-4-2 overall, 5-1 Region 3-AAAAAA) added four runs to its cushion, thanks to run-scoring singles by Reese, Coleman and Reed for a 9-0 lead.
Lester worked a clean fifth and struck out two in the sixth but surrendered an RBI single to Darvell Booker to end the shutout bid.
Antwain Booker had six strikeouts for the Bulldogs, who are scheduled to begin a series against Newnan today.
The Lions return to the field April 9 against Newnan at home.