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Braves keep good mix going, 8-6

July 03, 2002|by JACK HILL III

The approach is everything to the Hagerstown Braves.

Hagerstown has a habit of expecting to win games, an Tuesday was not exception when the Braves pulled out a 8-6 victory over the Fayetteville AAs in a Blue Ridge Adult League baseball game at North Hagerstown High School.

"All in all, it is just a good baseball atmosphere here," Hagerstown player-manager Danny Cunningham said. "A lot of players have filled their roles this year and that has helped us out."

Right fielder Mike Spry had three hits, including a solo home run, and scored three runs for the first-place Braves (24-2 league, 25-2 overall).

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"Mike Spry has been a good addition to the Braves," Cunningham said. "He comes to play every game and he is a hard-nosed player."

Spry, who just completed his junior year at Shepherd College, has 23 hits in 45 at-bats. Spry's hit his sixth home run in the sixth inning and extended Hagerstown's lead to 8-5.

"The first pitch was a fastball and I was expecting it," Spry said. "I just put a good swing on it and there it went."

After Fayetteville posted two runs in the firsty, Hagerstown answered with five runs in the bottom half of the inning. The Braves scored when Pat Sweeney walked and Nate Reeser was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded followed by Cunninham's two-run single. Jason Rhea capped the rally with an RBI single.

"We didn't let the two-run deficit hurt us very much," Cunningham said. "We swung the bats well. We wait too long, sometimes. Tonight, we jumped out very good."

Rhea got an RBI double, his second in three hits in two RBI, in the third and Reeser had a sacrifice fly in the fourth.

Sweeney added three hits and Reeser added two RBI.

Matt Bellon pitched six innings for Hagerstown for the win. Bellon got relief help from Deron Crawford in the seventh inning.

Casey Brookens led Fayetteville with three hits.

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