ST. PETERSBURG — Before Thursday night, Cambridge had mercy-ruled Canterbury twice during the season, but that didn't mean the Lancers would take the Crusaders lightly.
The Lancers scored nine runs in the first two innings on their way to a 12-5 victory in the Class A, District 9 championship.
Sophomore Hayden Kelley and senior Peter Miller led the offense, going 3-for-4 and 3-for-3, respectively, and Miller belted a home run in the second. Senior Matt Fishman pitched five innings, giving up one run on four hits with six strikeouts.
"He mixed up his pitches well," Cambridge coach Rick Spears said. "He's a gamer. He's been pitching in big games for three years now, and we expect that out of him."
The only run he allowed came on senior Jeremy Dolan's home run in the fourth.
"I felt confident," Fishman said. "I didn't have my best stuff, but I worked with what I had and my offense stepped up and gave me a big lead to work with."
Trailing 9-0 in the second, sophomore Jake Holsinger took over on the mound for the Crusaders. After three scoreless innings, errors took their toll in the fifth, and the Lancers tacked on three more runs to put the game out of reach. Holsinger allowed just four hits and struck out three in six innings.
"He's got great off-speed stuff, which makes his fastball look even better," Canterbury coach Shawn Brown said.
"He battled hard. He's only a sophomore, but he's one of the guys other guys look to to pick up the pace when things are struggling.
"I'm proud of the guys. They came back strong and we started playing good defense. When you spot a team nine runs, its tough to come back."