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Blue Devils win opener

March 25, 2000|By BOB PARASILITI

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - The game of high school baseball is pretty simple.

"Pitching and defense is the key to winning," Greencastle coach Chris Sellers said.

Makes sense, but being able to take advantage when your opponent doesn't do one of the two cornerstones goes a long way to becoming successful, too.

The Blue Devils cashed in on Sellers' favorites and added the third aspect, using an outfield error to ignite a three-run second inning for a 4-1 victory Friday at Barkdoll Field in the season opener for both teams.

Jesse Duffey blasted a solo homer to left to lead off the second to cancel out the shot Clear Spring's Josh Keyton had in the top of the inning. Zack Barkdoll followed by lofting a fly to right field that Adam Mills gloved, but dropped as he was attempting to throw the ball back to the infield.

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The umpires ruled he never controlled the ball and awarded Barkdoll first base. It led to a 3-1 lead the Blazers (0-1) never overcame.

"That was one of the keys," Sellers said. "We took advantage of it and strung somethings together. Our pitching was key. Brad (Fitz) set the tone and Tyler (Lanehart) did a good job and Jesse (Main) has a good arm."

Greencastle's pitching held Clear Spring to just three hits, none after the fourth inning, making the iffy error all the more decisive.

"That didn't beat us, but it's the point that it let them back into the game," Clear Spring coach Jim Hutson said. "I kind of believe that those two runs loomed big because of the way we were hitting. We lost our focus a little bit there."

Clear Spring pitcher Barry Smoot followed the error by walking Todd Christman before Fitz singled to left to drive home the go-ahead run. Dave Izer singled to right to cap the rally.

Fitz allowed all three Blazer hits over four innings while striking out four. Lanehart went two innings, striking out two, as did Main in his one inning.

Jeremy Barnes closed the scoring with a leadoff homer to right in the sixth inning. Smoot pitched a complete game for the Blazers, allowing three earned runs while walking just one and striking out three.

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