Indians collapse in seventh
CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- Tamarac baseball coach Guy Changa was nervous as his team entered the top of the seventh down two runs against Cambridge on Thursday afternoon.
But Changa's players put his fears to rest quickly, exploding for 13 runs in the inning to seal a 19-8 come-from-behind win at Cambridge.
"We have a lot of young guys, in fact I have two 8th graders in the bottom part of the lineup," Changa said. "When they came up, they stayed patient, they didn't try to overdo anything. Once they got on, the hitters came up."
And they came up big.
Hitters one through four came up with 10 RBIs in the half inning, bursting open a 8-6 game to make it a runaway victory. Dillon Maxon had two singles that brought in two runs each while Nick Zotto added a pair of RBIs, Dylan Wright brought in three and Cody Sullivan brought in the other to help seal the emphatic comeback.
"We just gave them too many outs," said Cambridge coach Jason Waite. "We had a couple plays that we should have made. [Ethan English] threw strikes, did what we wanted him to do. We just didn't make the plays."
English, coming on in relief for starting pitcher Graham Hall (5.2 IP, 5 Ks, 8 walks), gave up a single and two walks to start the inning, then a fielding error allowed Wright to bring in a run, then a wild pitch allowed another run to come in just underneath the tag of a charging English to tie things up at 8-8.
From there, Maxon added a pair of runs on a single to make it 10-8. Nine more runs came across before English forced a groundout to get out of the inning.
"I think Cambridge ran out of pitching there at the end, the kid was running on fumes and we just happened to jump on him," Changa said. "We were lucky today."
Luck, though, almost bounced in Cambridge's favor in the contest.
The Indians struck first in the bottom of the first inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Dylan Wickenden roped a single up the middle that brought in two runs to give Cambridge the early lead.
Tamarac would tie the game up in the second when Wright brought a run in on a single and a fielding error allowed another run to come through, but Cambridge would quickly take the lead back in the bottom of the inning.
With runners on the corners, Brady Sausville brought in the pair with a single to make it 4-2. Two batters later, and a bad throw allowed Sausville to come in and make it 5-2.
"We had good at bats, we were aggressive on the bases," Waite said. "We hit the ball really well today. We just couldn't take advantage of scoring eight runs."
The score stayed at 5-2 going into the fifth behind stellar pitching on both sides. Hall worked through four batters in the third and just three in the fourth thanks to a 6-4-3 double play started by shortstop Andy Romack, while his opponent on the bump, Zotto, went three up, three down in both innings.
Tamarac scored first in the fifth, with Maxon hitting a sac fly to right to bring in a run and Zotto helped his own cause with a RBI single.
Cambridge, though, had the answer again in the bottom of the inning.
The first run for Cambridge came in when Luke Motsiff was caught stealing second with runners on the corners. The throw allowed Sausville to come in and make it 6-4.
One batter later, and Wickenden struck again with another RBI, this time on a double, and Sean Herbig followed up with an RBI double that plated Wickenden to make it 8-4.
Tamarac pulled two back in the sixth on RBI hits from Sullivan and Zotto. Cambridge had the chance to add another run in the bottom of the inning, but with a runner on third relief pitcher Maxon, who pitched the sixth and seventh innings, got a strike out and a pop-up to end the inning, setting up the wild seventh.
"I thought, because we had been one hit away all day, I thought this might not be our day," Changa said.
But he was very wrong.
In Cambridge's half of the inning, Wickenden got on base when he was pinged by a pitch and Herbig followed up with a single, but a 6-3 double play and a strike out ended the game.
Wright and Zotto each had four hits for Tamarac, while Maxon and Sullivan added two hits each. Maxon led the team with 5 RBIs and Wright and Zotto had four each. For Cambridge, English, Sausville, Herbig and Wickenden each had two hits, while Wickenden's four RBIs led the team. English got the loss in relief, while Maxon picked up the win in relief.
Cambridge falls to 1-8 overall, 1-5 in the Wasaren League while Tamarac improves to 2-5, 1-4.
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