Cambridge shuts down Harrison Central

CAMBRIDGE — Cambridge used a combination of a dominating effort on the mound from senior Trent Valentine, along with a robust offensive outburst to coast past Harrison Central for a six-inning, 10-0 victory to capture a Division II sectional championship Tuesday at Don Coss Field.

Valentine was simply overpowering by hurling a one-hitter at the Huskies, racking up 10 strikeouts with a pair of walks to advance the Bobcats into the district tournament.

“Trent was absolutely dealing tonight,” Cambridge head coach Jamaal Lowery said. “He was spot on … all three of his pitches were working tonight.

“They (Huskies) are a bunch of free swingers. And, if Trent is locating his pitches like tonight, he’s just going to dominate you, and that’s just what he did.”

Valentine breezed through the first four innings, striking out nine of the 12 Harrison Central hitters he faced in dominating fashion.

In the sixth frame, with Cambridge holding a 6-0 lead, Valentine faced his only rough patch in the contest. After retiring the leadoff hitter for his 10th straight out, Kobe Mitchell broke up the no-hiiter by blooping a base hit down the right-field line.

That seemed to daze Valentine a bit, as he issued free passes to the next two Harrison Central hitters to load the bases with one out. After a quick visit from coach Lowery, Valentine quickly regrouped and induced Colson Dalton to hit a ground ball to Jacob Nunamaker at third base, who promptly started a made-to-order 5-2-3 double play to end the Huskies’ inning.

“I went out to check on him there, and he just said, ‘I got this,'” Lowery said. “And he did, as he got that ground ball he needed to get out of the inning.”

Valentine’s impressive work on the mound drew praise from Harrison Central skipper Mike Valesko.

“He’s tough, and we talked about the fact that we would probably face him and would have our hands full,” Valesko said. “He’s a standout three-sport athlete and is just a real competitor.

“We wanted to try and put the ball in play and make it more difficult for them, but he just shut us down and got in a nice groove. He did a heck of a job tonight.”

With Valentine holding down the Huskies’ offense, the Cambridge bats came alive with a total of 14 hits to rack up the 10 runs off of Harrison Central starter Andrew Clelland, who has signed to play collegiate baseball at Ohio State. Clelland took the loss for Harrison Central (6-17), allowing five runs on six hits, with three strikeouts and one walk.

Logan Tuttle led the Bobcats with three singles and an RBI, while Cody Moore collected a pair of singles with four RBIs. Cooper Kerns chipped in with a double, single and an RBI. Trent Valentine banged out a double.

Cambridge broke in front 1-0 in the bottom of the first frame, with Kerns delivering the first run with an RBI single to plate Tuttle, who reached with a base hit.

In the third inning, the Bobcats pushed across four runs to extend their lead to 5-0, with Moore stroking a single to plate a pair of RBIs. Kaden Whaley contributed an RBI base hit.

Cambridge (15-9) closed out the sectional title win by plating a single run in the fourth, before sealing the win with a four-run, sixth-inning rally.

Up next for the Bobcats will be a Division II district semifinal matchup with St. Clairsville, which slipped past John Glenn by a slim 1-0 margin in another sectional final on Tuesday. That game will be played at 5 p.m. on Monday at a site to be determined.

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