CAMBRIDGE - Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 overcame a 6-run deficit, but Jimmy Antalis' two-run home run in the seventh inning propelled Cambridge Post 84 to an 8-6 victory in the District 11 championship game Sunday at Don Coss Field.
The win for Cambridge means a trip to the state tournament in Lancaster, which begins July 29. Post 389/750 ends its season at 22-19.
Beverly/Lowell threw the ball all over the place in the bottom of the third inning, committing six errors which led to six Cambridge runs.
"When things start going bad, like they did in that inning, we just can't get it stopped," said Beverly/Lowell skipper Todd Engle. "To their credit, they decided they were gonna scratch every inning and try to win every inning."
Down 6-0, B/L began chipping away in the top of the fourth.
Ethan Estes reached on an infield single and advanced to second base on a throwing error before Lance Schafer brought him home with a single up the middle to make it a 6-1 game.
Beverly/Lowell got another run back the following inning, but perhaps should have gotten more. With the bases loaded and no outs, Devin Leister's infield single to short drove in Justin Greer to make it 6-2. Cambridge starter Zach Roe then got a huge strikeout of leadoff hitter Austin Campbell before getting Estes to pop out and Jake Ullman to strikeout to escape the inning without giving up further damage.
Beverly/Lowell, however, did not stop battling.
In the seventh inning, B/L loaded the bases yet again with Ullman coming to the plate. This time, Ullman delivered with a base knock back up the middle to score Jordan Satterfield. With the bases still juiced, Lance Schafer produced a sacrifice fly to center to advance all three runners, Leister to home plate, to cut it to a two-run game.
Gunnar Smith then stepped into the batter's box with runners at second and third and two down and came through with a shot down the right field line to bring around Estes and Ullman and tie the game up at 6-all.
But just as Beverly/Lowell got some momentum, Cambridge took it right back.
With Evan Sawyer on for his fourth inning of relief, Dillon Sunnafrank ripped a one out single the opposite way to right field and advanced to second on an error. That set the stage for Antalis' game-winning blast, which sailed on a line over the fence in left field to make it an 8-6 game.
Beverly/Lowell had runners at second and third with two outs in the eighth, but was unable to come up with one final clutch hit to the game up.
Cambridge reliever Ben Standiford got Estes to pop out to end the eighth and worked a perfect ninth to punch Post 84's ticket to state.
"They did everything I asked them to do," Engle said of his ballclub. "What more can I say? Cambridge is a good ball club."
Kordell Antill made the start on the mound for Beverly/Lowell, but lasted just 2.1 innings as six errors in the third caused his pitch count to elevate early. Sawyer pitched four innings of relief, striking out four and giving up just the two runs on the homer by Antalis to take the loss. Ben Barnas also pitched 1.2 perfect innings of relief.
Roe worked six innings for Cambridge, striking out five and walking one in the no-decision. Standiford pitched the final three innings, recording four strikeouts to earn the win.
Satterfield went 2-3 for B/L while Smith and Schafer each had two RBI.
Matt Tom went 3-3 for Cambridge, Sunnafrank was 2-4 and Antalis had three runs driven in.
Beverly/Lowell committed eight errors to Cambridge's four, but B/L out-hit Post 84 9 to 7.
Sunday's loss was the final legion game for Beverly/Lowell's Sawyer, Satterfield, Antill, Campbell, Dustin Duffy and Terrance Mayle.