By Phil Anastasia
Colan Miller waited his whole career for Camden Catholic to push into South Jersey baseball prominence.
Maybe that's why the senior right-hander worked so quickly and efficiently in Saturday's Diamond Classic quarterfinals.
Miller pitched a three-hitter with five strikeouts as Camden Catholic beat Pitman, 2-1, in a game that took just 74 minutes at Washington Township.
"The tempo was perfect for me," Miller said. "I love to work fast."
With the victory, Camden Catholic (16-8) advances to face the winner of Saturday's second game between Eastern and Bishop Eustace in Sunday's semifinals at Washington Township at 1 p.m. The finals are set for 5 p.m. Sunday at Eastern.
Camden Catholic won the first Diamond Classic in 1974. That was the Irish's only title in the history of the tournament.
"We haven't been there in a while and for us to get there now it's a really big deal for us," Miller said.
Miller and Pitman senior right-hander Chris Seibert both worked fast and threw strikes.
Seibert struck out 10 and allowed six hits. Only one of Camden Catholic's runs was earned.
"It was pretty intense," Seibert said of the fast-paced game. "It was a great experience."
Camden Catholic took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third as Shawn Stone reached on an infield error, advanced on a passed ball and scored on a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt.
Pitman (15-5) tied the game at 1-1 in the fourth as Trevor Datz singled, advanced on a ground out and scored on two-out RBI single by Clay Enzman.
Camden Catholic took the lead in the top of the seventh as Miller beat out an infield single by the closest of margins. Courtesy runner Ryan Ziegler advanced on Stone's sacrifice bunt and scored on Albert Faiola's two-out single to centerfield.
"I was waiting for a slider," Faiola said. "It's awesome for us to get this far (in the Diamond Classic)."
Miller said he threw "seven or eight" fastballs in the game. He relied mostly on his curveball and splitter. He faced just 24 batters and didn't issue a walk.
"He's been our guy for two years," Bergholtz said. "He wants the ball in these situations. He lives for this moment."
Camden Catholic 001 000 1 -- 2 6 2
Pitman 000 100 0 -- 1 3 1
WP: Colan Miller. LP: Chris Seibert.
2B: CC-Mike Wheeler.