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Hagerstown evens Blue Ridge series

August 10, 2002|by JACK HILL III

BRUNSWICK, Md. - The Hagerstown Braves forced a deciding seventh game in the Blue Ridge Adult League championshop Friday with a 4-1 win over the Brunswick Orioles.

Today's title game at North Hagerstown High School is at 2 p.m.

Hagerstown (40-9) tied the series after falling behind, 3-1.

"We have battled all year," Hagerstown player-manager Danny Cunningham said. "We have just stepped up. It has been a war. Both teams are playing good baseball. We have got to go get them (today). It is not done yet. We still have one more game."

Hagerstown pitcher J.R. Fitzwater, who still has one season left at Shepherd College, hurled a four-hitter and gave up one run in seven innings in a complete-game win.

"I was just trying to throw strikes," Fitzwater said. "The defense did everything tonight. They made my job easier. If it wasn't for them, we wouldn't have won. It feels good that you can throw strikes and let them hit it, because the defense will make the plays behind me. I pretty much felt good out there for the whole game."

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Fitzwater retired 10 of the final 12 batters that he faced.

"J.R. Fitzwater threw a solid ballgame," Cunningham said. "He didn't fall behind. He got on top and he made them hit his pitch. Scott Frye pitched another pretty good game for Brunswick (33-11). He just had that one bad inning. We had another big inning. We got the big hits in that inning."

Hagerstown snapped a scoreless tie with four runs in the top of the fourth inning on an RBI single by Nate Reeser, a two-run double by Cunningham and an RBI single by Zack Swisher.

Kevin Crawford and Reeser got two hits each for the Braves.

Brunswick got its only run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Corey O'Bryan. Kevin Goode had two hits for the Orioles.

"We didn't play very well tonight at all," Brunswick manager John Mangold said. "We were flat again. We're not taking advantage of the opportunities that we do have. We have to play 100 times better if we want to win this thing."

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