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Blazers send Campers back packing

May 15, 2008|By LARRY YANOS

CLEAR SPRING - Joel Rowe's two-run home run in the sixth inning put the finishing touch on Clear Spring's 16-5 victory over Allegany on Wednesday in the Class 1A West baseball quarterfinals.

The Blazers (16-3) - winners of six straight games - host Boonsboro today at 4:30 p.m. in a West Region semifinal game.

Clear Spring collected 15 hits against three Allegany pitchers and scored at least two runs in every inning to win by the 10-run rule. Rowe's round-tripper was his second consecutive game-ending shot and the fourth homer of the day hit by Clear Spring.

Aaron Mills, Brett Turner and Kyle Crist also connected for homers for the Blazers.

"We have a deep team, top to bottom in the order, and guys coming off the bench making a contribution," Clear Spring coach Mark Shives said. "Crist was our No. 2 hitter earlier in the year but he has had some ankle problems and we pushed him to seventh in the batting order. He still made a great contribution."

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The layoff between the regular-season finale with Catoctin on May 6 and rain-delayed region game didn't seem to bother the Blazers.

"I wasn't really concerned," Shives said. "We have been practicing between the starts and working toward our mission - winning the state tournament. We're playing good baseball right now and hope we can keep things going."

John Kehr pitched the victory, despite allowing eight hits to Allegany (11-7) and going deeper into some counts than he would have liked. The right-hander had more than adequate support from his teammates, though.

"John has had sharper efforts but he got the job done and kept us in the tournament," Shives said. "That's all you can ask."

Jordan Thurber had three hits and two RBIs for Clear Spring and Mills added two hits and four RBIs, while Crist and Turner finished with two hits each.

"Our mission is to win the state tournament and we're getting it together at the right time," Thurber said. "I've been a little inconsistent at the plate this year but I'm starting to come around."

"I think I've improved my hitting stroke the second half of the season," Mills said. "I'm a little more patient at the plate. As Coach said, we're on a mission - winning the state tournament."

Clear Spring defeated Boonsboro 8-1 and 11-1 during the MVAL Antietam's regular season.

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