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Blazers do little things in big way

May 12, 2009|By CHRISTIAN WORSTELL

CLEAR SPRING -- Clear Spring baseball coach Mark Shives knows his team will need to do better than Monday in order to validate those lofty state title expectations garnered in the preseason.

But when it's "win or go home," the Blazers will take them any way they can get them.

After a 35-minute rain delay, Clear Spring outlasted Allegany 6-1 in a Maryland 1A West quarterfinal matchup. The Blazers will host Smithsburg on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.

Clear Spring had three runners picked off base, committed three errors and watched a sacrifice bunt backfire. Still, the Blazers had six players each drive in a run and pitchers Josh Kehr and Brandon Glazer limited the Campers to one run.

"For playoff baseball, we'll have to do more of the little things to advance," Shives said. "The little things are the name of the game and we didn't do that. But at the end of the day, (Allegany) only scored one run."

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Despite missed opportunities, the Blazers (14-1) produced runs with the long ball (solo home runs by Kehr and Kyle Crist), fundamental RBI ground outs (Jordan Thurber and Joel Rowe) and timely singles (Glazer and Brad Banzoff).

Kehr kept the Campers (9-8) in check with 4 2/3 innings of one-run ball after hitting the first pitch he saw over the left field fence in the Clear Spring half of the first.

"We were mainly just working the outside corners," Kehr said. "The couple of jams I got out of I owe all to my defense. They've been behind me all year."

Allegany loaded the bases with one out in the second but Kehr got Drew O'Neal, the Campers' ninth hitter, to bounce into a double play. Kehr got the Campers to hit grounders two other times to end innings with runners in scoring position.

Allegany also had problems doing the little things. The Campers stranded nine runners on base, had another runner picked off second base with none out and failed on a sacrifice bunt that eliminated a runner at third.

"You take away a few mistakes and we're right in this game," Allegany coach Duane McMinn said. "You can't do that kind of stuff against a good team, especially in a close game."

After Kehr's homer, Thurber and Rowe hit back-to-back RBI grounders to the right side in the third.

"That's what we like to do," Kehr said. "Anytime we have a chance to score a runner we just try to hit it the other way."

After the Campers managed an RBI double by Sean Collette in the top of the fifth, Crist homered to left in the bottom half and Banzoff and Glazer added insurance runs with back-to-back RBI singles in the sixth.

"We just took what they gave us," Shives said.

Clear Spring 6, Allegany 1
Allegany 000 010 0 -- 1 6 2
Clear Spring 102 012 x -- 6 9 3

Wilson, Taylor (6) and Barb. Kehr, Glazer (5) and Morgan. WP -- Kehr (4-0). LP -- Wilson. HR -- CS: Kehr (1st, none on), Crist (5th, none on).

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