OLD ORCHARD BEACH—Nor’easter Kolby Lambert (Naples/USM) knocked a two-RBI homer off the leftfield foul post in the top of the first on Sunday afternoon, July 14, propelling his boys to 3-0 vs. the Mavericks.

“When I made contact with the ball, I knew I hit it pretty good,” Lambert said of the dinger. “Then it started to hook and I thought for sure it would be foul, but it ended up hitting the pole – which is crazy to me, because that never happens.”

Lambert & Co. cruised after that and emerged victorious in the end, 12-2. The win bumped the Nor’easters to 10-3 on the summer; they picked up another W in their second game of the day – vs. the Norsemen – to advance to 12-3. The team is currently 13-3.

Kolby Lambert dives back to first for the Nor’easters. Adam Birt / American Journal

The Nor’easters kicked off the game with a pair of consecutive outs: Ben Nelson (Gorham/Merrimack) and Ryan Lavelle (Long Meadow, Massachusetts/Franklin Pierce) went down one-two, and team fell back on their offensive heels.

Tim Brigham (Cape Elizabeth/Suffolk) and Alex George (Hollis, New Hampshire/Southern New Hampshire University) followed Lavelle up with doubles, though – George’s ushered Brigham home – and then Lambert stepped to the plate. Lambert promptly connected, sending the ball almost foul.

Almost – but not quite. And both foul poles are fair territory, so clanging one with a hit – provided it happens above the wall – qualifies as a homer, no matter where the ball itself lands. 3-0.

The Mavs recouped a third of their deficit in the bottom of the second, but the Nor’easters got that back – and then some – soon enough: The team picked up one in the top of the third and another in the top of the fourth. Nolan Brown (Gorham/Husson) batted in George with a double for the first of those, and Nelson batted in Nick Liston (Springvale/Plymouth State) for the second of them.

The Nor’easters continued piling on runs in the fifth inning – both Brown and Will Snyder (Portland/Skidmore) scored – and beyond. When the dust settled, the Nor’easters owned the afternoon 12-2.

Most of the Nor’easters who stepped into the box contributed to the team’s big win. Lambert finished with his HR, a single and a double, a walk and three runs scored, for instance. Nelson had a single and a double, and Brown heaped up two doubles, a single and two runs.

Ben Nelson turns in top-notch defensive plays like its a hobby (which, to be fair, it kind of is). Here, he completes a double-play: Having just tagged out a Mavericks runner, he shovels the ball towards first. Adam Birt / American Journal

The Greater Northeast Collegiate Baseball League (GNCBL) was founded in 2017 to offer college players from around New England an affordable, high-quality, summer development opportunity. Members of USM’s standout lineup, and St. Joseph’s as well, dot the League’s rosters, and quite a few players hail originally from local schools like Bonny Eagle, Westbrook, Gorham and Windham.

“I like it!” Lambert, who played three years at Bonny Eagle and one at Thornton, said of the GNCBL. “I like the League because there’s a lot of players I played high school with, and against. It’s a fun league that also allows you work on your game.”

The GNCBL plays at The Ballpark, at SMCC, at St. Joseph’s and elsewhere. The League is online at www.gncbl.com; they’re on Twitter at @GNCBLBaseball and easily searchable on Facebook.

Ben Nelson hurtles a throw from second towards first. Adam Birt / American Journal

Nor’easter Nolan Brown leads off third, watching the action at home and looking to score. Adam Birt / American Journal

Josh Joy (Smithfield/USM) unwinds into a throw for the Nor’easters. Adam Birt / American Journal

Ben Nelson reels in a throw, trying for an out at second base. Adam Birt / American Journal

Max Salevsky (Hollis/Plymouth State) mans first base for the Nor’easters. Adam Birt / American Journal

Nolan Brown prowls off second, itchy to advance. Adam Birt / American Journal