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Errors cost Blazers against Bulldogs

April 12, 2002|BY BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

Staff Correspondent

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - To err is to be human. To err twice in one inning usually means bad things for baseball teams.

Martinsburg starter Brandon Bartley masterfully mixed a variety of pitches, while the Bulldogs took advantage of a pair of Blazers errors to come away with a 4-3 win Thursday night.

"You can't give a team like Martinsburg four or five outs in an inning," Hutson said. "We simply did that too often tonight and that was the story."

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Bartley struck out eight, and he and his teammates were able to silence the normally potent Clear Spring bats.

Blazers starter Adam Mills pitched a superb game, recovering from a rather lackluster first inning to strike out 11 while driving a rocket over the left centerfield fence for a solo home run in the sixth inning.

"This was a good, good baseball game," Martinsburg coach Dennis Etherington said. "They had a great pitcher out there tonight, but it just so happened that Brandon was on, too."

A year ago, the Blazers lost two games to the Bulldogs by the 10-run rule. This time, the game was in doubt until the last out.

And for Clear Spring, the plays that cost them came in the form of errors.

In the first, a misplay by the Blazers in center field, followed by back-to-back singles by Brett Twigg and Mike Ware, plated Martinsburg's first run.

The Blazers took the lead 2-1 in the third on Andy Simmons' two-run double to the fence in left.

A walk and two bloop singles by Martinsburg tied it up, 2-2.

"We took advantage of everything we could tonight," Etherington said. "We believe that if we put the ball in play, the pressure is on the other team."

That pressure finally got to the Blazers in the fourth.

Mills opened the inning by walking Bartley. Justin Jackson drove a 1-2 pitch to deep left center, where the ball was misplayed and rolled to the fence again. Bartley scored and Jackson reached third.

Mills struck out Durst, but Arvon followed with a grounder first baseman Chris Hoffman attempted to barehand and failed to come up with, scoring Jackson.

Mills was able to coax Kyle Triggs into a ground out to short, but the damage had been done. The Bulldogs plated two runs on no hits and two errors.

"Those couple of mistakes made the difference," Hutson said. "I don't think anyone expected us to win every game. Martinsburg is a great challenge."

No. 9 Martinsburg 4 No. 5 Clear Spring 3

C. Spring0020010-353

Mart'burg101200x-450

Mills and Everitts. Bartley, Ware (7) and Spatero. WP - Bartley (3-1). LP - Mills. HR - CS: Mills (6th, none on).

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