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Blazers give Shives win No. 1

March 24, 2004|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

CLEAR SPRING - It was a memorable Tuesday afternoon for Clear Spring baseball coach Mark Shives and Hancock coach Tom Flowers. The baseball itself was rather forgettable.

In both teams' season opener - as well as the prep head-coaching opener for both Shives and Flowers - the senior-laden Blazers had their way with the young and overmatched Panthers. Clear Spring pounded out 17 hits while Mike Hamby and Scott Keeney held Hancock to one in a 19-0, five-inning shellacking.

The day carried a little extra significance because of the history involved. Shives is taking over for Jim Hutson after Hutson's 27 years as head coach at Clear Spring, while Flowers - an assistant to Dan Kerns at Hancock for the previous 20 years - took Kerns' spot over this season.

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"I hate to see a guy like Tommy in a game like this for his first game, because he's earned his position (as head coach)," Shives said. "He's a good guy."

"We're going to take our lumps early, that's what my buddy Kerns would say," Flowers said. "But we're going to keep trying. We're not going to quit."

Brad Turner went 3-for-3 with four RBI to pace Clear Spring offensively, as the Blazers sent 11 men to the plate in a six-run second and 12 more in an eight-run third. Mike Snyder hit three doubles in four at-bats, while Keeney and Zeb Jacobs each had two hits and three RBI. Larry Hose had two hits and two RBI and Cody Beard added two hits.

Every starter for Clear Spring scored at least one run.

"I watched them play basketball, and these kids have a will to win and play hard," Shives said. "This team can be as good as they believe. They're walking into a new league, so we'll see. It's tough to say how good these kids can be."

Hamby pitched three innings, allowing only one walk while striking out five. Keeney pitched the final two innings, allowing Derick Clingerman's single and a walk while also fanning five.

"We're just trying to limit our errors and limit our walks, and if we can do that, I think we can be competitive," Flowers said. "But today we had one hit, and when you have more errors (four) than hits, it's hard to be competitive."

Clear Spring, which starts MVAL Antietam play today against Smithsburg, has plenty of pitching (including starters Zeb Jacobs and Cody Beard) in a pitching-rich league including Williamsport's Nick Adenhart, North Hagerstown's T.J. Hose and South Hagerstown's David Miner. Shives said the Blazers are looking forward to the challenge.

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