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Gaels accept Blazers' help for victory

March 27, 2004|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

Based on recent history, St. Maria Goretti's 8-7 baseball victory over Clear Spring on Friday could well be placed in the upset category.

The Gaels took advantage of six errors by a veteran Blazers team, the most critical of which came in the bottom of the sixth inning.

With one out and Johnny Widmyer on first as a courtesy runner for Mason Herman, who had walked, Goretti's Kevin Brashears ripped a single to center that was misplayed by Mike Snyder, allowing Widmyer to gallop home for an 8-7 lead.

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The Gaels hung on the in the top of the seventh with freshman pitcher Brian Massimilla working around a pair of walks to coax Snyder into a game-ending ground out.

"This is exciting," said Massimilla after earning his first win with three innings of relief work. "I just tried to hit my spots and throw strikes."

As a back-and-forth contest unfolded, Clear Spring (2-1) forged a 7-7 tie in the sixth on two walks, a single by Scott Keeney and two Goretti errors.

That offset a three-run Goretti fifth that featured a two-run single by Sean Gilson that gave the Gaels (2-2) a two-run lead.

Goretti had staked pitcher Trevor Cobb to a 4-1 lead in the third on a three-run homer by Brashears off Clear Spring starter Jeb Jacobs.

"Clear Spring is an excellent team and this is a big win for us," Goretti coach Mike Brashears said. "We fought back three times in this game and I think we might have come from behind one time all of last year."

Clear Spring first-year coach Mark Shives said the game came down to execution.

"We didn't pitch all that great today ... right now everything is about timing and things are starting to come around," said Shives. "Goretti did a great job and they executed a little better than we did."

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