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Blazers rock in hit parade at Hancock

April 25, 2007|by CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

HANCOCK - John Mason and Jordan Thurber each homered and Clear Spring got a hit from every spot in the batting order Tuesday night as it thumped Hancock 14-3 in five innings to sweep the season series.

The Blazers poured in 14 hits in their highest scoring output of the season, and it's the second time in four games Clear Spring has won by the 10-run rule.

"We've been hitting the ball well the last couple of nights," said Blazers coach Mark Shives. "We faced some good pitching (Monday night) against South (Hagerstown), but tonight we came out with a little more fire and a little more energy."

Mason set the tone when he skied the second pitch of the game over the left-field fence to give Clear Spring a 1-0 lead.

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"(Mason) is our hottest hitter right now," Shives said. "We moved him to the leadoff spot four games ago and he's been a good fit. It lets Aaron (Mills) go to the two-hole to set up for Jordan Thurber and John Kehr."

Mason and Mills set the table - both reached base and scored three times - and Thurber did his job by driving in four runs. Mason, Mills and Thurber combined to go 6-for-9 with eight runs scored and eight RBI.

That success at the top of the order trickled down the Clear Spring lineup with 10 players recording at least one hit. Josh Kehr had two hits with an RBI and Cody McCarthy - the No. 9 hitter - added a run-scoring single.

"We have some nights when the top of the order hits and others when the bottom hits," Shives said. "Tonight, everyone that came up had a chance to get into one."

Mills, John Kehr and Corey Morgan nearly joined Mason and Thurber with homers, but each of their shots went off the fence.

"We might have to hit the weight room more in the summer to turn those into homers," Shives joked.

But what was left in the park was plenty for Clear Spring pitchers Chipper Mellott and Kyle Crist. Mellott fired three hitless innings until surrendering three runs on four hits in the fourth. He struck out four and walked one before Crist entered and pitched a perfect fifth inning with three strikeouts to seal the win.

"Mellott pitched a good game. He had the curveball working, but he started to get tired in the fourth," Shives said. "We brought in Crist, who's only a sophomore, to get him some experience and he strikes out the side."

The Blazers (6-4) led 5-0 after two innings and batted around in the top of the fourth to stake a 10-0 lead.

A window finally opened for Hancock (3-9) when Mellott began to tire in the fourth and Jake Foreman took advantage with a leadoff single. After a Danny Mauk double put runners on second and third, Lucas Trunkle hit a sacrifice fly to put the Panthers on the board at 10-1. Willie Powell added an RBI single and later scored while Nick Harvey was caught in a rundown to pull the Panthers to within 10-3.

The Blazers answered with four more in the fifth - Thurber's two-run home run, Morgan's RBI double and a run scored on an error - to reinforce the mercy rule.

"We didn't show up ready to play," said Hancock coach Brian Kerns. "That's been our forte all year. I can't put a finger on it, but it doesn't seem like it bothers our kids to lose."

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