By Zach Shugan
MILTON, Ga. — The Cambridge baseball team (3-1) stayed hot Tuesday night, getting out to a big lead and holding off a late comeback attempt from crosstown rival Milton (0-2) to win its third game in a row.
The Bears led 9-0 and were three outs away from a win after dominating the Eagles most of the night, but things became interesting in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Four batters walked to start off the inning for Milton, putting the Eagles in the scoring column without much work required on their part. They followed it up with a couple hits for two more run, and then the Bears helped them out by making back-to-back errors for three more runs. Suddenly, Cambridge’s lead had gone from 9-0 to 9-6.
With one out and the bases loaded, Bryce Becker entered the game and struck out two batters, earning the save and preventing the Eagles from making a colossal seventh-inning comeback.
“For the most part, we hit on most aspects of the game we wanted to,” Cambridge head coach Evan Tieles said.
Senior Matthew Polk started on the mound for Cambridge and shut the Eagles down. The Citadel signee struck out nine batters and allowed only two hits and zero earned runs through four inning, picking up his second win in the team’s four games.
“The starting pitching by Matthew Polk was lights out for us,” Tieles said.
Offensively, the Bears’ bats were hot from the get-go. Eight different Cambridge batters had at least one hit, combining for 13 total on the night. Junior Alex Moelter led the Bears, going 3 for 3 at the plate with three hits and two RBIs.
“From top to bottom offensively, guys did their job,” Tieles said. “We had a lot of guys come off the bench and do their jobs offensively as well.
This isn’t the first time this season Cambridge has had great success at the plate. The Bears have scored 28 runs in their past three games and 30 total through their first four games of the season.
“We’ve been very fortunate with the way the guys have been swinging it so far this season,” Tieles said. “We’ve worked real hard the first three-four weeks of practice.”
The Bears will be able to consistently rely on their pitching and hitting, as evident in Tuesday’s win over Milton, but their true strong-suit is their athleticism, according to Tieles.
“We’ve got some strong arms in the rotation. That’ll definitely give us a chance every game. But the biggest thing is the athleticism on our team. We have a lot of versatility with guys like Jayden Carbonell-Smith, Sam Pinho, Jack Schrafft, Bryce Becker. All these guys that can play infield, they can play outfield, they can pitch, and it allows us to move people around. And offensively, it helps us out being athletic as well.”
Cambridge dropped its opening game of the season to North Springs, 8-2, but has since won three games in a row, including a 7-6 victory over Class A Private’s No. 3-ranked Fellowship Christian. The Bears play Wednesday against North Cobb Christian (3-1) and Friday against Class A Private’s No. 4-ranked St. Francis (1-3).
While Cambridge may not boast a top 10 ranking at this point like some local teams, the Bears will be tough for the rest of the state to ignore if they keep winning, especially against ranked opponents.
Milton has a chance to bounce back Wednesday at home vs Lassiter (4-1) and Thursday vs former region foe Forsyth Central (1-2).