TRENTON — Justin Lambright was looking for the right combination of factors when it came to where he wanted to pitch in college.
The mix that he found at Northeast Texas Community College was what led him to sign with the Eagles on Wednesday night.
He chose the junior college program in Mount Pleasant over Paris Junior College and Saint Thomas University.
“It took a lot of thought,” he said. “It came down to a decision where who showed the most interest in me and was going to prepare me for the next level. If I want to play at a high level, I need one or two years working to be there. Really, really liked the home-town feel. They showed they were invested in me.”
Last season he was 6-3 with a 0.00 earned run average in 49.1 innings with 91 strikeouts and 21 walks while allowing 14 hits. Lambright was named the Pitcher of the Year in District 11-2A and was an honorable mention all-state selection by the Texas Sports Writers Association.
As a sophomore he was also 6-3 with a 0.99 ERA in 49.1 innings with 86 strikeouts and 20 walks while allowing 23 hits and also batted .421 with 36 RBI and was the Most Valuable Player in District 11-2A.
During his freshman year he was the District 12-2A Pitcher of the Year and a third-team all-state selection by the Texas Baseball Coaches Association.
“Pitching’s what I love,” Lambright said. “It comes down to helping Trenton win and then there’s the bigger picture of getting better for Northeast Texas.”
Northeast Texas went 35-22 this past spring with a 17-13 record good for third-place in the National Junior College Athletic Association Region XIV standings.
The Eagles ended up one game short of advancing to the Junior College World Series after winning the first three games of the region tournament before back-to-back losses against San Jacinto, including 8-7 in the deciding contest.
“It was huge,” Lambright said. “I can go into a winning tradition, start once a week and help them win and make the World Series.”
Northeast Texas was second in the conference in batting average (.305), hits (554), doubles (107), home runs (62) and RBI (360) and on the pitching side was first in innings (450), second in ERA (4.94) and third in runs (315). The defense led the conference with a .966 fielding percentage.