Braves beat AA's, 7-5

August 05, 1998|By JACK HILL III

FAYETTEVILLE, Pa. - It's routine for Mickey Kerns to get clutch hits during playoff time.

On Tuesday night, Kerns added another dimension to his playoff contributions. He produced in the clutch at the plate and on the mound.

Kerns had two hits and two RBIs, those coming on a two-run homer in the seventh inning and gave up only two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings to get the win as he helped the Hagerstown Braves beat the Fayetteville AA's 7-5 in the fourth game of the Blue Ridge Adult League baseball championship series.

The Braves lead the AA's three games to one in the best-of-seven championship series.

The fifth game will be played tonight at 7 at Municipal Stadium.

"Mickey Kerns and playoff baseball," Hagerstown player-manager Danny Cunningham said. "He steps his game up during the playoffs. That was his first start on the mound in a long time. He was throwing the ball good, and he mixed his pitches well. He had good control tonight."


Mark Shives pitched the final 1 1/3 innings and earned the save.

"I just tried to keep the team in the game for as long as I could, so we could get to Mark Shives at the end," Kerns said. "I just tried to get ahead in the count and to keep on throwing strikes. Fortunately, they hit a lot of balls at people tonight."

Hagerstown was leading 5-4 when Kerns slugged his two-run homer in the top of the seventh to give the Braves a three-run lead.

"We have a good-hitting team," Kerns said. "Sometimes, we struggle for a while. But tonight, we got a couple of hits late, and we just kept it going. I went up to the plate, and I knew that I was going to get breaking balls. So, I was just looking for something up and over the plate. Fortunately, it got out of the park."

The Braves had taken the lead for good at 5-3 in the sixth on a three-run homer by Ronnie Palmer.

Kevin Crawford and Rodney Young added two hits each for the Braves.

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