SARASOTA — It took two days, but Cambridge was able to strike boldly back to a precious and familiar spot: the state final four.
The Lancers baseball team will make its second straight Class A state semifinal appearance after beating Sarasota Out-of-Door Academy 4-0 Saturday to sweep the first two games of the best-of-three region final.
Cambridge will face Lake Worth Trinity in a state semifinal Wednesday in Port St. Lucie.
"I think if we didn't make it back to the state final four, we would have underachieved," said coach Rick Shears, whose Cambridge squad lost last year's final 8-6 to Jacksonville Eagle's View, also back in this year's final four.
On Friday, the Lancers beat Out-of-Door 4-3 in a game that was called after the sixth because of heavy rain. The downpour forced Game 2 to Saturday.
Cambridge (20-7) struck quickly Saturday, scoring twice in the first inning. The first run was scored by Andrew Widell, who walked, stole second, advanced to third on a single by Trent Tagliarini, then came home on a throwing error. Tagliarini scored on groundout by Peter Miller.
That was all the run support Derek Self would need.
The junior left-hander pitched a complete-game, four-hit shutout, striking out seven and walking just one to improve to 6-0.
"I felt like I had all my stuff working out there," said Self, who missed three weeks with a shoulder injury. "I was working my pitches inside and out. Later on in the game, I started getting tired, but my defense helped me out."
In the seventh, Out-of-Door had its best chance to score, but a runner was thrown at home and Tagliarini made a diving catch for the final out.
"Derek was really in control on the mound and kept their best hitters off balance," Shears said. "And we were great on defense, which is what we've come to expect."