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Blazers get all the bounces for tourney title

April 14, 2001

Blazers get all the bounces for tourney title



By DAN SPEARS

dans@herald-mail.com

The opportunities for the Clear Spring baseball team to show its stuff against bigger Maryland opponents are few and far between.

Saturday at the VFW Post 1936 Easter Tournament, the Blazers made the most of this chance, getting a 12-strikeout performance from Adam Mills and a boatload of seeing-eye singles to beat South Hagerstown 7-4 for their first tournament title.

"This is really special, to win this for the first time," Clear Spring coach Jim Hutson said. "I know the boys will cherish this one. They'll be on a high for a couple of days."

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So consider the Blazers (6-3) on Cloud Nine - as in nine hits in the first four innings, eight singles and a double. Everything the Blazers hit was seemingly led along by a seeing-eye dog, the ball bouncing off gloves and barely rolling through the fast-closing holes in South's infield.

"You look at it, and we're just a heartbeat away," South coach Greg Eversole said. "And then you mix in one non-varsity type play and our pitcher is having to max out to stop the inning."

The plays in question came in the third with the Blazers up, 3-1. Clear Spring used an infield single, a misplayed bunt (the non-varsity play), a walk, and another infield single to score and run and load the bases when Justin Michael fisted a shot toward second that turned into a Phil Mickelson lob wedge.

As South's Danny Fowler and Josh Norris closed in, both hesitated and the ball hit the ground next to second base and spun away from both of them. All the runners were safe and made it a 5-1 game.

"We got a few breaks with some quirky stuff ... that ball of (Michael's) was wild," Hutson said.

Wild did not, however, describe Mills' effort on the mound. The sophomore right-hander dominated everyone in the South lineup, excluding Fowler, and made just two mistakes: a homer to Fowler in the first and a three-run homer to Tommy Jesson in the sixth that pulled the Rebels within three.

"This was nice, pitching in a game where the teams are pretty equal," Mills said. "But this is a big boost for me, and our team."

"He's more of a thinker than what he showed out there today," Hutson said. "He'd been blowing it past them and I think he thought he could do it again.

"I took a gamble, not pitching him against South Carroll (in a 9-7 semifinal win), in case we got to play South in the final. And by golly, it worked out."

Clear Spring 7, South 4


C. Spring3022000-7111

South1000030-453

Mills and Line. Keller, Cote (4), Belin (7) and Showe, Decker (7). WP-Mills (3-1). LP-Keller (0-3). HR-SH: Fowler (2nd, none on), Jesson (6th, two on).

semifinals

Clear Spring 9, S. Carroll 7


Chris Everitts' grand slam gave the Blazers an early lead, which they made stand up late at Hellane Park. Adam Mills and Andy Simmons also hit two-run homers in the third for Clear Spring.

S. Carroll0014200-770

C. Spring044001x-981

Mayberry, Brady (2) and Daniels. M. Cline, Keyton (5) and Line. WP-M. Cline (1-0). LP-Mayberry. S-Keyton (1). HR-SC: Kraus (4th, one on), Bright (5th, two on); CS: Everitts (2nd, three on), Mills (3rd, one on), Simmons (3rd, one on).

South 11, Mercersburg 9


Rocky DiCola's two-run double busted a sixth-inning tie and capped the Rebels' rally from a 9-1 deficit. Tommy Jesson's three-run homer in the fifth started South's rally. Five players had two hits for Mercersburg (5-2), and Dave Cline and Ben Larson had two RBI.

Mercersburg0801000-9142

South100055x-1181

Thomas, Cline (6) and Laddbush. Cote, Ryan (2), Fowler (2), Keller (7) and Showe. WP-Fowler (1-0). LP-Cline (1-1). S-Keller (1). HR-SH: Jesson (5th, two on).

Consolation

S. Carroll 9, Mercersburg 6


S. Carroll0043002-982

Mercersburg0100500-6113

Mantua, Sauter (3), Sorando (5), Lewis (5) and Payne. Cline, Flowers (4) and Laddbush. WP-Sauter. LP-Cline (1-2). HR-SC: Kraus.

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