It took almost three hours, but American Legion Post 216 was able to capture its first sweep of a doubleheader since the opening contest of the summer season.
The Tigers fought past missed opportunities, near loss and a short rain-delay during a 12-inning game, 3-2 win over Cambridge to move to 10-6 before the holiday break.
Princeton 3, Cambridge-Isanti 2
Several game-winning opportunities came both Princeton and Cambridge-Isanti’s way Thursday night, each team placing runners in scoring position during extra innings, only to come away with nothing before Gehrig Scheffel jolted a single into the right-center gap, plating Jake Carlson for the deciding run after a short lightning delay.
The Tigers started with a two-run first-inning, in which they took advantage of two hit batsmen, but Princeton mustered just three hits over the next six innings. One of those got erased on a double play and another on a caught stealing.
Drew Scharber kept it close, though. The lefty was shutting out Cambridge until the fifth inning, when he allowed three singles and a walk to knot the score at 2-2. He rebounded to pitch two more scoreless innings after that and record six strikeouts and allow five hits and three walks.
Damon Rademacher took over from there, while the offense began to heat. The Tigers pushed runners to second and third with two outs in extra innings, but twice Jake Oakes came up just short, getting robbed of a base-hit in the eighth after a great diving effort from Jarret Lindberg.
“That was fun,” Princeton coach Troy Kinney said. “We were getting hits late. We just weren’t getting the big hit [until Scheffel].”
In the tenth-inning, Cambridge-Isanti’s Mitchell Zierbath also rocketed a ball into center field with the winning run on third. Under the lights, Carlson nearly charged too far, but reached up to make a smooth catch to finish Rademacher’s only tense situation during five innings of relief.
After Scheffel’s go-ahead single, Rademacher set Cambridge down in order for the win after allowing four hits and striking out three.
“Our three pitchers were awesome tonight,” Kinney said.
Princeton 3, Cambridge-Isanti 0
Sam Larson was the other piece of that trio.
He used 88 pitches to strike out 10 batters and allow just two hits in a walk-less complete-game shutout. Mixing up his pitches well Larson kept hitters off-balance while pounding the strike zone 65 times.
It was his fourth complete game and dropped his earned run average to 0.64 over 28 innings.
Oakes cashed in early in the first game with an RBI single in the first inning and Larson added an RBI-double in the fifth before Scharber executed a suicide squeeze to score Damon Rademacher in the sixth.
Scheffel and Larson each went 2-for-3 with a double.
Princeton 3, Chisago Lakes 1
Reid St. George wasn’t as effective as Larson, in the first game of a doubleheader on Tuesday, June 27. He allowed 10 hits during his first stint on the mound for legion.
Still, he evaded danger, stranding eight runners and allowing one run in a complete game, while Larson and Scheffel did their thing at the plate.
Larson doubled home Scheffel after he singled in front of him in the fifth and after Scheffel reached on an error to begin the sixth, he stole second and Larson singled him in for the go-ahead run.
Chisago Lakes 5, Princeton 2
Jake Carlson continued the Tigers success on the mound, tallying seven strikeouts and allowing just two hits over five innings. He would allow five walks though, including two in the fifth, in front of a three-run triple by Dusty Rhodes to supply the difference.
Kent Hanscomb went 1-for-2 with two runs scored for Princeton.
The Tigers now stand at 10-6 and will not play against until July 10 at Mora.