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Six wrongs still make a right as Blazers hold off Panthers

March 29, 2007|by TIM KOELBLE

CLEAR SPRING - Clear Spring has started the baseball season with two wins, but intangibles have coach Mark Shives frustrated.

The Blazers bolted to an early 8-0 lead after the first inning, but basically held on for a 13-7 win over Hancock on Wednesday.

Clear Spring made six errors to give the Blazers 11 miscues in the first two games, something Shives addressed with authority to his players following the game.

"We've made 11 errors in two games and that might be more than we made all of last year," he said. "It was disappointing today. We were horrible on defense. We have a code of ethics and one is to run out balls and run after them and we didn't do that."

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Unsuitable to Shives, there were other instances that show up as hits in the boxscore. On two occasions, there were fly balls that could have been caught but landed safely and allowed Hancock to score three of its runs.

Junior Aaron Mills, expected to be a tablesetter for the Blazers in the leadoff position, did just that to begin the Clear Spring first inning with the first of his three hits.

"(Mills) is one of the best players in the area," said Shives. "He'll set the table, get us runs from the top. He's a very smart player."

Five hits, a walk, two errors and a hit batsman later, Clear Spring had the early lead after sending 12 batters to the plate against Hancock right-hander Jake Foreman.

"(The eight runs) weren't all Foreman's fault," said Hancock coach Brian Kerns. "We had some errors in there that were costly."

Josh Green had a two-run double and Mills capped the scoring when he collected his second single of the inning to drive in Kyle Krist and Corey Morgan.

Hancock (1-2) didn't go away easily after the first inning, fighting back for three runs in the second inning and two in the third to slice the deficit to 8-5.

Nick Harvey and Kaleb Norris drove in runs in the second and Lucas Trunkle drove in a run in the third with the second of his three singles. The last two runs were products of Clear Spring errors.

"If you take the first inning away, we played pretty competitive," said Kerns. "We weren't anywhere ready to play in the first inning."

Clear Spring struck for four runs in the third inning off Foreman and reliever Dan Mauk with RBI singles from Mills and Josh Kehr and a RBI double by Jordan Thurber leading the way.

Mauk shut down Clear Spring with creditable relief work the rest of the way, Meanwhile, the Blazers relied on the bullpen to shut off Hancock.

Krist, in his first varsity appearance on the mound, turned in three innings of work, allowing three hits and two unearned runs. Josh Kehr came in to hurl a scoreless seventh.

"Kyle is a sophomore and he lacked a little command when he first came in but he got stronger as he went on," said Shives.

Mills ended going 3-for-4 with three runs scored, three stolen bases and three RBI along with a walk. Josh Kehr and Thurber each had two hits.

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