National rides the wave to win over Clear Spring

July 11, 2009|By KYLE RAIOS/Staff Correspondent

CLEAR SPRING -- Sometimes the game of baseball is like being on a boat. It can be wet, its up and down, but near the end, it can turn into a cruise.

That's the way it was for National, as they battled through a two-hour rain delay and a 4-1 deficit to take an 8-7 win over Clear Spring in a Maryland District 11-12 Tournament losers' bracket game Saturday.

National took a 1-0 lead in the first after a double by Nick McCoy, who later scored after a fielder's choice and a passed ball.

Clear Spring retaliated in the bottom of the first. Nick Lewis led off with a ground-rule double and scored when Spencer Schultz doubled. With two outs, J.T. Altman reached second on an error that also scored Schultz. Altman later scored on a wild pitch and an error.


Clear Spring got on the board again in the second. With two outs, Bradley Colliflower walked, reached second on a passed ball, then scored on a single by Lewis, his second hit of the night.

Down 4-1 in the top of the third, National responded. Elijah Miller led off with a single and Jeff Bennett reached on an error. Isiah Frye reached on a throwing error that scored both Miller and Bennett and had Frye stopping on third base. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Jake Boutieller.

From there, the cruise began.

Over the next three innings, Bennett allowed Clear Spring no runs and only one hit. At one point he retired eight straight batters, including six on strikeouts. He finished with nine whiffs.

"Once the bats got going, I got comfortable," Bennett said, "I buckled down and put the ball over the plate."

Clear Spring rallied for three runs in the sixth, highlighted by Jacob Brant's two-run double. But Boutieller struck out Clear Spring's last hope to end the game.

"The kids never gave up," said National Manager Randy Rachor, "They hung in there, kept their heads up."

National will play at the loser of Monday's Federal-Conococheague contest on Tuesday.

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