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Blazers take advantage of Warriors' mistakes

April 08, 2004|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO - As so often happens in high school baseball, one team's mistakes opened the door for another team's victory.

Clear Spring took advantage of Boonsboro's two two-out infield errors in the third inning when Phil Saloom tripled to the gap in left, giving the Blazers a 3-1 lead on the way to a 5-4 win Wednesday in the MVAL Antietam.

"We can't make multiple errors in an inning, and we can't give up big innings," Warriors coasch Brian Smith said. "One error led to another, and before we knew it, it's 3-1 and we're on the downside."

Jay Love's first-inning RBI double gave Boonsboro (3-4, 0-3) a 1-0 lead, but it vanished in the third.

After Brandon Painter retired the first two Blazers, Scott Keeney singled and Mike Snyder and Zeb Jacobs followed with grounders that the Warriors failed to handle cleanly.

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Given the opportunity, Saloom jumped on Painter's first pitch, clearing the bases.

"Phil's been due," Clear Spring coach Mark Shives said. "Phil's had the most underrated season. He's hit five or six line drives that have been caught. His average doesn't show it, but he's been hitting for us."

Love's second RBI double of the game pulled the Warriors within a run in the bottom of the inning.

In the fifth, Clear Spring (3-3, 1-2) took advantage of a pair of walks when Zeb Jacobs singled through the hole at short, driving in two for a 5-2 lead.

"They got big hits at the big times," Smith said.

Matt Byers' fifth-inning RBI single cut the lead to 5-3, before Blazers starter Cody Beard exited after walking Love to start the bottom of the seventh. Beard threw a whopping 141 pitches, allowing six hits and five walks while striking out four to get the win.

"Cody threw strikes and gutted it out," Shives said. "It was a gutsy performance. We don't have a lot of arms with a lot of innings. They just don't have a lot of mound time. Beard probably threw 30 changeups, and he's probably only throwing 60 (mph), so (the pitch count) is no big deal."

Mike Hamby came on and struck out the first batter he faced, but a single and an infield error led to Love scoring and left runners at first and second with Boonsboro down a run.

Undaunted, Hamby struck out the next two batters in eight pitches - all fastballs - to close the door.

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