Win or go home: Bev/Low falls into loser’s bracket with loss to Cambridge
CAMBRIDGE — Cambridge Post 84 put itself in the driver’s seat in the District 11 Tournament with a 6-4 victory over Beverly/Lowell Post 389/750 Wednesday at Don Coss Field.
Tied up at 4-all, Cambridge plated two runs in the top of the seventh. Hayden Loy punched a run-scoring single into right-center to break the tie. Garrett Burga advanced to third base on the play and later scored on a double steal to make it 6-4.
Ian Ellis singled with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but Cambridge reliever Collin Campbell worked around it to secure the victory. Campbell pitched the final two innings to earn the win.
Beverly/Lowell had taken an early lead, plating a pair of runs in the opening frame. Eastern Eible, who went 2 for 2 and reached base four times, singled with one out. Kurt Taylor, who went 3 for 4, followed with a single before Thomas Miller produced a bunt hit. Eible scored on Miller’s bunt when the throw to first base was off the mark. Taylor went to third on the play and later scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0.
Cambridge rallied to tie it in the bottom of the third on Burga’s two-run single to center. That was the only hit of the inning as Cambridge put two runners in scoring position on a walk, a hit batter and a double steal.
Cambridge chased Beverly/Lowell started Seth Miller on Kaden Whaley’s leadoff single in the fourth.
Whaley later scored to make it 3-2 when Drew Yanico doubled on a line drive, just out of reach of a diving Caleb Davis in right field, off Beverly/Lowell reliever Alex Greuey. Miller walked one and fanned one in three innings of work to earn a no-decision.
The play of the game came in the bottom of the fourth. With Eible on second and two outs, Thomas Miller hit a ball to the right-center field gap that looked destined for extra bases. However, Cambridge right fielder Jake Valentine tracked it down with a full extension dive to prevent the tying run from scoring.
Post 84 took that momentum to the top of the fifth and added another run thanks to more two-out lightning. Campbell led off with a grounder to second that was booted. He found himself on second base with two down when Loy poked an RBI single up the middle to make it 4-2.
After getting five strong innings from starter Caden Burga, who walked two and struck out four, Post 84 gave the ball to Campbell. Beverly/Lowell greeted him with a pair of runs to knot the score at 4-4. Eible walked with two outs and went to second on a wild pitch. Taylor then laced a double down the left field line to bring Eible home and make it 4-3. Thomas Miller followed with a high bouncer to short that was misplayed, allowing Taylor to score the tying run. Maeson Long came up and stroked a sharp line drive, but right at the center fielder to end the inning.
Cambridge chased Greuey with one out in the seventh before Seth Dennis took over to get the final two outs, but not before Cambridge plated the deciding runs. Both runs in the seventh were charged to Greuey, who took the loss after working 3 1/3 innings with two walks and four punchouts.
Cambridge scored six runs on 10 hits and committed two errors. Garrett Burga, Loy, Whaley and Valentine all had two hits. Post 84 advanced to the district final and plays again on Friday.
Beverly/Lowell scored four runs on 11 hits and made one error. Wade Pauley went 2 for 3 with a double. The Todd Engle-coached club is back in action at 6 p.m. today. Post 389/750 will take on the winner of St. Clairsville and Zanesville in an elimination game. Today’s winner will have to defeat Cambridge twice for the district title.
“Some of the good things we were doing way back in week one, we have gotten away from here at the end of the road as far as tournament play,” Engle said. “We are going to have to play much cleaner ball to get to where we want to be.”