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Seven-run seventh leads Clear Spring

April 01, 2002|BY DAN SPEARS

dans@herald-mail.com

Clear Spring baseball coach Jim Hutson said he couldn't explain the events that turned a one-run game against South Hagerstown into a 12-4 victory over the Rebels on Saturday in the final game of the South High Easter Tournament.

Sometimes, though, words don't do a situation proper justice.

The Blazers didn't do much more than stand and watch in the seventh inning against the Rebels and their young, inexperienced pitching staff. South used three pitchers in the inning, and five walks and one crucial error in the field turned a 5-4 game into an eight-run headscratcher.

"It was a good game until ..." Hutson said before stopping his sentence. "But our kids didn't hang their heads, and they could have. They stayed up, and it was our day."

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Both teams played solid through the first five innings and a 2-2 game. But Clear Spring (3-0), which took a 2-0 lead in the third on a homer by the diminutive Andy Simmons, grabbed the lead again on an unearned run and then another two-run homer to right by one of its lightweights, Gerad Haupt.

The senior centerfielder and pitcher went 4-for-4 with a walk in the game and went 5-for-6 with three free passes on the day.

"I was just trying to see the ball hit the bat, and then hit it hard," said Haupt, who at 5-foot-7 couldn't even try to disguise himself as a power player.

Because of rain, the schedule also looked like a farce for the Rebels (1-1), who were the last Tri-State team to open their season. It didn't show in the first 13 innings of the day, and they rallied back within one in the bottom of the sixth on Daniel Lynn's two-out, two-run single, but couldn't get anything to work in the seventh.

"We wanted everybody to show something to us today, and in what we were trying to accomplish, we kinda got caught out of position," South coach Greg Eversole said.

"You saw it, we were young, and we came out not quite knowing what we had. Clear Spring was senior-led, and their seniors stepped up."

Clear Spring's Adam Mills got the save in both games; including a one-pitch end to the sixth against South. Entering with the leading run on base, Mills got Sal Mauriello to softly line back to the mound and end the threat.

"You can't ask for more than that," Haupt said with a laugh.

n In the day's opening game, South starter Sean Ryan struck out 11 in a complete game as the Rebels got four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning for a 7-3 victory over South Carroll.

Mike Vaverchak's two-run single highlighted South's final at-bat, and Ryan's off-season lifting showed down the stretch in a good omen to the start of the season.

"If Sean can do that, or come close to that, once a week, we're going to be OK," Eversole said. "We got an opportunity to show who's ready to play at this level and who isn't yet."

n In the second game, Clear Spring got two runs in the bottom of the sixth and three solid innings of relief from Josh Barnhart for a 7-5 win over the Cavaliers. Chris Hoffman's two-run homer in the fourth keyed the Blazers' rally from a 5-2 deficit.

South High Tournament

Clear Spring 12, South High 4

Haupt, Constable (5), Mills (6) and Everitts. Mertz, McAfee (4), Cote (6), Norris (6), Miner (7), Moore (7) and Showe, Powell (6). WP-Constable (1-0). LP-Cote (0-1). S-Mills (2). HR-CS: Simmons (3rd, one on), Haupt (6th, one on).

South High 7, South Carroll 3

Sauter, Mead (5) and Payne. Ryan and Showe. WP-Ryan (1-0). LP-Sauter.

Clear Spring 7, South Carroll 5

Sorando and Payne. Hamby, Barnhart (3), Mills (7) and Everitts. WP-Barnhart (1-0). LP-Sorando. S-Mills (1). HR-SC: Lewis (1st, two on); CS: Hoffman (4th, one on).

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