Mother Nature has caused all kinds of scheduling problems for north Atlanta high school teams so far this spring. For the second week in a row the game scheduled for Monday was moved to Thursday due to rain, which means the Cambridge varsity baseball team played three region games in succession once again. And while the results of the three games did not exactly go to plan, the team finds itself in a tie for second place at the halfway point of region play with a 5-3 record.
Cambridge @ Dunwoody HS, Wednesday, March 21
The primary theme of this game was a lack of offense for the visitors. Cambridge amassed only four hits on the game and never really mounted much of a threat as the Dunwoody starter kept the team off balance in a complete game effort. Sophomore Casey Young got the start for the Bears and matched the Dunwoody hurler pitch for pitch through three scoreless innings featuring four strikeouts.
The Dunwoody offense broke the scoreless tie in the fourth courtesy of two hits, two walks and two errors to take a 4-0 lead that they would not surrender. They tacked on two more runs in the sixth to close out the scoring at 6-0. Meanwhile, the Cambridge offense scattered each of its four hits across four different innings and never had more than a single runner on base.
Young went five innings, allowing four runs on four hits with five strikeouts to take the loss. Mitch Fleming had the lone extra base hit with a double.
Northview HS @ Cambridge, Thursday, March 22
In a complete turnaround from the prior evening, the Cambridge bats came to life in a big way with an 11-1 victory over a talented Northview squad by run rule. The combination of outstanding pitching by Cambridge starter Blake Renner and eleven hits in 4+ innings by the Cambridge offense proved to be too much for the visitors.
Northview scored first in the opening frame courtesy of two errors by the Cambridge defense. Connor Morris and Mitch Fleming singled in the bottom of the inning, but would not score. The Cambridge offense got on the board in the second. A two-out single by Andrew Spears and a Chase Durham walk set up an RBI single to center by Ryan Todd to knot the score at 1-1.
Neither team scored in the third, setting up fireworks for the home team in the fourth. Teddy Egan got hit by pitch to lead off the inning. Ross Friedrick singled before an error on a sacrifice bunt by Andrew Spears pushed Cambridge into the lead. Several walks and bunt singles by Ryan Todd and Egan, batting for a second time in the inning, preceded a bomb double by Friedrick, his second hit of the inning. When it was all said and done, Cambridge pushed across nine runs on the inning to take a commanding 10-1 lead.
Singles by Durham and Todd set up a sacrifice fly to center by Morris to bring home the eleventh and final run in the bottom of the fifth to end the game by run rule.
Renner went the distance, going five innings allowing no earned runs on one hit with two strikeouts to pick up the win. Todd led the offense with three hits, while Friedrick had two, including a double. Morris drove in a pair while Durham and Spears scored twice.
Cambridge @ Pope HS, Friday, March 23
Cambridge visited region-leading, and defending 6A state champion, Pope HS on Friday evening. The game was close throughout and eventually came down to the last pitch of the game as Pope won 5-4 in dramatic fashion courtesy of a walk-off home run.
Neither team scored in the first. Pope threatened with a couple of hits, but Cambridge starter Ryan Todd got out of the jam with no issue. The visiting Bears broke the tie in the second. Mitch Fleming led off with a single and Teddy Egan was hit by pitch. Ross Friedrick doubled home Fleming before Egan scored on an error by the catcher to make the score 2-0.
Pope stormed back in the third to take a 3-2 lead on the strength of five hits. That lead would not last long, however, as Fleming led off the fourth with a home run into the trees in left to tie the score. Another hit by pitch for Egan eventually led to an RBI single by Andrew Spears to push Cambridge back on top 4-3.
Cambridge reliever Evan Pollifrone entered the game in the fourth inning to get out of that jam and tossed a shutout fifth before allowing an unearned run in the sixth to tie the score. Cambridge went in order in the top of the seventh, setting up the dramatic hit off of Kenny Rosenbloom in the bottom of the inning, giving Pope the win by a score of 5-4.
Rosenbloom took the loss for Cambridge. Pollifrone worked 3 1/3 innings of relief allowing one hit and no earned runs. Fleming led the offense with a pair of hits, including the home run and a couple of runs scored. Friedrick had a double and Egan scored twice.
Cambridge picks up again with a region game @ Centennial HS on Wednesday, March 28th. Game time is 5:55 PM.