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Blazers hang on for wild win

April 25, 2006|by CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

Just like Tom Cruise, Andrew Blickenstaff proved he could complete an impossible mission, too.

The Clear Spring southpaw mowed down the heart of the South Hagerstown lineup in the bottom of the seventh inning to save the Blazers' 14-13 win in an MVAL Antietam baseball game Monday.

"I asked him in the sixth if he wanted to close it out if we needed him and he said he wanted the ball," said Blazers coach Mark Shives. "We need somebody in that role and hopefully he'll be able to carry us through the rest of the year."

Blickenstaff inherited a two-on, none-out jam with a 14-12 lead, facing the top of the Rebels batting order. He allowed one run to score on a ground out, but fanned a pair to complete the save.

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"I just wanted to keep my fastball on the outside part of the plate," said Blickenstaff. "I know most of those kids and I know they can't hit it if I keep it out there."

Blickenstaff saved the game for Corey Baker, who came on in relief in the fourth and also provided the big blow for Clear Spring (6-4, 4-4) - a three-run, fifth-inning home run that gave the Blazers the lead for good. It was Baker's second homer of the year.

Trailing 11-9 in the fifth, South pitchers walked six batters (11 for the game) as Clear Spring scored five times.

"That inning with six walks killed us," said South coach Ralph Stottlemyer. "We just can't seem to find somebody to throw strikes."

Rebels ace Spencer Cromer started the game, walked five, and gave up five runs - all earned - in the second.

After the Rebels (2-10, 2-7) responded with nine runs in the bottom of the second off starter Nathan Mills and reliever Scott Keeney, Clear Spring tied it with four more in the third off Brandon Knight.

A two-run third for South made it 11-9, before the Blazers rallied for the win.

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