The evening began with four teams tied for third place with 8-7 region records, including the Bears. After a Cambridge 6-2 victory over hot-hitting North Atlanta on Senior Night and a Johns Creek victory over second place Alpharetta, the evening ended with five teams tied for second with 9-7 records. That's five of the region's nine teams, all tied for second. Since only three of those teams were eligible to advance to the state playoffs with region leader Pope, two teams were certain to be left out. After running the unusual scenario through the Google Quantum Computer, Northview, Johns Creek and Cambridge were awarded the three playoff spots, while the Alpharetta and Dunwoody seasons officially ended. Cambridge earns the playoff berth for the second year in a row as the fourth seed in region 7AAAAAA.
Before any of that could happen, however, Cambridge had to win a tough game over the hottest team in the region, North Atlanta. The Bears sent senior Jon Hirschland to the mound. Hirschland has pitched lights out in recent weeks and would need a stellar effort to keep the visitors at bay. He got off to a good start with a perfect first. Cambridge scored the game's initial run in the bottom of the first with a well executed start to the game. Michael Kolesar took a fastball to the leg to advance to first. Cameron Moore laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Kolesar into scoring position. Bradley Wiedman then lofted a double to deep right center to drive in Kolesar for the game's first lead at 1-0.
Early on the Warriors matched Cambridge run for run. A leadoff home run for North Atlanta tied the game at 1-1 in the second. A walk and a single pushed a runner into scoring position, but the senior righty coaxed a strikeout and a ground out to end the threat.
Cambridge came right back in the bottom of the inning to retake the lead. Kolesar's soft liner into shallow right drove in Teddy Egan to make the score 2-1. A single and a double for North Atlanta in the third tied the game at 2-2. The Bears once again answered in the bottom of the inning. Egan singled sharply to center, driving in Wiedman who had singled to make the score 3-2.
Hirschland buckled down from there, allowing only a solitary single in the last four innings of work. Meanwhile, the Cambridge offense tacked on three more insurance runs in the fifth. Sam Waylock singled and moved to second on an errant pickoff attempt. Hayden Onorato singled to right to drive him in. An Egan bunt and a couple of North Atlanta miscues pushed the score to 5-2 before Moore drove in the game's final run with a sacrifice fly.
Hirschland went the distance to secure the win and the playoff berth, allowing two runs on six hits with three strikeouts. Wiedman, Waylock and Egan led the offense with two hits each. Kolesar had two RBI, while Egan scored twice. Wiedman had the lone Cambridge extra base hit with a double.
Cambridge begins state playoff action with a three game series at Alexander on Friday, April 28th. The format is a DH on the 28th with a third game on the 29th if needed. Come out and support your Bears!