Camden’s mission Friday night at Lakewood was simple enough. The Bulldogs needed a win to avoid a disastrous week in Region 6-3A baseball.
Denny Beckley’s teamed entered the week with a 3-0 region report card and in sole possession of first place, but a 7-6 loss to Darlington on Tuesday put the heat on. Another loss would have put the Bulldogs on catch-up mode against the Gators.
Camden certainly responded to the situation, pulling out a come-from-behind 5-4 win to regain first place by a half game over Lakewood. It wasn’t easy. The host Gators took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning sole home runs off Camden pitcher Tyler Pike.
But Pike, mirroring the resilience of the team, started the game-winning, two-run rally in the seventh inning with a one-out double and scored the tying run on a single by veteran shortstop Bryant Salmond off Lakewood starter Keith Hayden, who had allowed entered the seventh inning working on a two-hitter. Kris Nelson then delivered the game-winner against reliever Josh Hayden – a single to plate Peyton McFarland, who drew a walk before Salmond’s clutch hit.
The Bulldogs, 9-3 overall, has a three-game region slate on tap next week. Camden hosts Crestwood on Tuesday, Lakewood on Thursday and Marlboro County on Friday.