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Hubs use patience to cool Blazers

April 22, 2010|By TIM KOELBLE
  • Clear Spring's Brian Lesher (9) slides into second base safely under the tag of North Hagerstown's Charles Cvijanovich on Wednesday during the Hubs' 11-4 win to end the Blazers' 10-game winning streak.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

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    HAGERSTOWN -- With the game on the line, North Hagerstown pitcher Aaron Stoner thought he was about to be relieved when coach Steve Myers made his second visit to the mound in the top of the fifth inning.

    North Hagerstown was clinging to a 4-3 lead and Clear Spring was trying to preserve its unbeatened record with runners at second and third and one out.

    "I had no intentions of pulling him," said Myers. "The first visit, I wanted him to relax, throw strikes and see what he had left. The second, I told him this was his last inning and finish strong."

    Stoner finished off Brian Lesher and Cody Englehart, allowing the Hubs to conquer Clear Spring 11-4 and move within 1 1/2 games of the MVAL Antietam lead.

    "I thought I was coming out," said Stoner. "I just took some deep breaths. (Clear Spring) is a really good team."

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The Blazers (10-1, 7-1) had scored on a two-run single by Corey Morgan but Stoner fanned Lesher and induced Englehart into a fly to center.

The Hubs (8-3, 5-2) took a 2-1 lead in the second off Lesher with Thomas Allen's RBI double and a RBI grounder by Charles Cvijanovich. They added two more runs in the third, highlighted by Stoner's RBI triple to score Ty Benson.

"I was looking for a belt-high pitch and got a fastball right there," said Stoner, indicating right across the middle of the plate.

After the Blazers stranded two runners for the third time in five innings, North went to work against reliever Brad Banzhoff with seven runs.

After a fielding error by Clear Spring shortstop Brandon Glazer, Allen hit a second RBI double and Phillip Pietro and Cvijanovich drove in runs to set the stage for a clinching at-bat by Benson.

Benson sent a drive over the left-field fence for a grand slam, his first varsity homer and the Hubs' second slam of the season.

"Stoner is a tough kid," said Myers. "We got some clutch hitting today against a good team."

Allen, Cvijanovich and Jake Bachtell had two hits each for the Hubs.

Morgan had three hits and three RBIs and Glazer had two hits for the Blazers, accounting for all but three of Clear Spring's hits.

"There was no doubt out there who was the better team today," said Clear Spring coach Mark Shives. "Being 10-0 hasn't proven anything. It hasn't won a league title or any playoffs. We didn't execute with men on base."

North Hagerstown 11, Clear Spring 4
Clear Spring 010 020 1 -- 4 8 2
North 022 070 x -- 11 9 1

Lesher, Yost (3), Banzhoff (5), Walling (6) and Morgan. Stoner, Carpenter (6) and Allen. WP--Stoner (2-1). LP--Lesher (2-1). HR--NH: Benson (5th, three on).

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