tampabay.com

Gutsy effort boosts Cambridge

By ROVEN YAU
Published May 7, 2005


CLEARWATER - Cambridge starter Austin Welti didn't need his best stuff during a 5-2 win over Keswick in the district semifinals.

Welti battled through control problems and a sprained right ankle sustained during Monday's quarterfinal win over Tampa Baptist to toss six shutout innings.

The lefty issued seven walks but was backed by a strong infield that made eight groundball put outs.

"He's got a football mentality," Cambridge coach Jack Cox said. "He's very tough."

Cambridge opened scoring in the second on an RBI single by Chris Russell. The Lancers then loaded the bases for Joe Brand, who drew a walk to force home Welti.

Steve Gonzalez added a run-scoring single in the fourth as part of another two-run rally, but it wasn't enough to knock Keswick starter Nick Corrado from the game.

Corrado pitched out of several jams to strand nine Cambridge base runners and kept the Crusaders in contention long enough to mount a late-inning rally.

Corrado delivered a two-run single in the seventh to pull Keswick within striking distance. Keswick had the tying run at the first when Welti buckled down to get a popup and a strikeout to end the game.

"We're used to averaging 12 runs a game," Cox said, "so we were a little tight tonight."

Cambridge advanced to face Calvary Christian in today's championship game at 3 p.m. at Jack Russell Stadium.

Calvary Christian rallied for five runs in the sixth against Canterbury to complete a 7-4 comeback victory. David Penn and Josh Muller each had run-scoring hits for Calvary Christian, which trailed 3-2 when rain suspended play Thursday. Penn and Kyle Mullet combined to hold Canterbury to one run Friday.