Morgan Lamb knew of the Madrigal brothers years ago, nodding at them in class or the parking lot, and vice versa.
Soon, they became something like the Three Musketeers, Elk Grove High School seniors who share the same passion to compete on a diamond. They eat up ground balls, drive in runs, wreak havoc on the basepaths and pursue championships.
Because they were able to do a little of everything on the field while leading the region’s top-ranked teams this spring, Lamb of the Thundering Herd softball team and twins Nick and Ty Madrigal of the baseball program are The Bee’s Players of the Year.
“Those guys are my buds, great friends, great players and students,” Lamb said of the Madrigal brothers. “This is so neat to finish this way.”
Elk Grove softball was ranked No. 1 by The Bee all season with Lamb the catalyst. The Boise State-bound third baseman batted .562 with seven doubles, seven triples, four home runs and 42 RBIs for a Thundering Herd team that went 28-4, including 14-0 in the Delta League, and reached the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II finals.
Like Lamb, the Madrigals were three-year varsity starters. Nick Madrigal was stellar at shortstop, considered by some prep coaches and Sacramento State coach Reggie Christiansen to be among the best they’ve seen at the position in high school.. Nick batted .450 with seven doubles, 17 RBIs and 33 runs for a team that went 24-10, including 7-1 in the playoffs to finish as The Bee’s and section’s top-ranked team.
Ty Madrigal played right field and was the team’s ace the past two seasons. The left-hander went 10-3 this spring, including 4-0 with three shutouts as Elk Grove collected its sixth Division I section title since 2003.
Growing up, the Madrigals quickly established an inseparable bond with baseball. Joy to them was off-days spent fielding grounders, shagging fly balls and hitting at the cages. They supported, encouraged and celebrated each other. They even had pro workouts together, with the San Diego Padres and Giants, leading into this week’s Major League Baseball draft, where Nick was selected in the 17th round by the Cleveland Indians.
Nick, however, will attend Oregon State and Ty will go to Saint Mary’s, both looking to study business.
“It’s been a great year and it’s been exciting,” Nick said.
Said Ty: “It’s been more of a blessing than anything – what we’ve done, playing ball together, what’s next. We feel very fortunate.”
Lamb echoed a similar sentiment. She dabbled in gymnastics before falling in love with softball at age 6, not wanting to take off her uniform.
“One day, I decided, ‘I guess I’m a softball player,’” said Lamb, who wants to study criminal justice.
As for the three of them, Lamb said, amid laughs, “We’re ballplayers.”