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Blazers snap Antietam skid

April 21, 2005|by JACK HILL III/Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG - Patience is starting to pay off for the Clear Spring baseball team.

The Blazers beat Smithsburg 12-6 Wednesday for their first MVAL Antietam victory of the season.

"It's our first conference win, but it's a sign that our young kids are getting better," Shives said. "We have six juniors, three sophomores and one freshman in the starting lineup. This is our second win in a row. Today, we played seven innings of baseball and that is what we are trying to teach our kids."

Sophomore pitcher Nathan Mills gave up only one earned run and a walk while striking out eight in six innings to get the victory. Reliever Cory Baker pitched a scoreless seventh inning for Clear Spring (3-8, 1-8).

"Nathan Mills is only a sophomore and he threw six strong innings today," Shives said. "He got his curveball across the plate and kept the hitters off-balance. He got enough velocity on his fastball to get the strikeout when he needed it."

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Junior cleanup hitter Andrew Blickenstaff and freshman leadoff batter Aaron Mills both reached base all five times for Clear Spring. Blickenstaff had four hits, four RBI and one run scored. Mills, who added three hits and four runs, homered on the third pitch of the game to ignite the Blazers' four-run rally in the top of the first inning.

Clear Spring added two runs in the second and four runs in the third to build a 10-1 advantage.

"Andrew Blickenstaff had a huge day at the plate," Shives said. "We hit in key situations today and that starts to get contagious. When one guy does it, then the other guys start doing it."

Corey Monroe blasted a three-run homer in the fifth for Smithsburg (1-8, 1-7).

"Just like in the past four or five games, one inning has done us in," Smithsburg coach Bill Fowkes said. "You can't give up too many walks and you can't give them an extra out with an error."

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