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Blazers blast way to state berth

May 23, 2010|By TIM KOELBLE
  • The Clear Spring Blazers celebrate their 7-3 victory over Brunswick in Saturday's Maryland Class 1A West championship game.
Ron Glazer Sr., Submitted photo

CLEAR SPRING -- Former Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver always loved the three-run homer, the quickest way to put an opponent in the hole.

Weaver would be smiling if he saw Clear Spring's long-ball performance on Saturday.

Clear Spring had two of them -- one by Joel Rowe and the other from Brandon Glazer -- to key a 7-3 victory over Brunswick for the Maryland Class 1A West title.

The Blazers (18-3) will travel to McCurdy Field in Frederick on Tuesday to battle Surrattsville in the state semifinals at 7 p.m.

"Earl Weaver is before my time, but those were big homers," said Clear Spring coach Mark Shives. "One through nine in the lineup, we've got special kids and they're going strong right now."

The only run not accounted for by homers proved to be the winning one for Clear Spring in a four-run fourth inning that snapped a 3-3 tie.

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Tyler Walling started the fourth with a hustle double and went to third on a bloop single by Cody Englehart. Walling was cut down at the plate on a fielder's choice by Brad Jordan, leaving Englehart at third.

Brad Banzhoff followed with a single through the hole between first and second to score Englehart and set up Glazer's three-run connection off Brunswick starter Tyler Itnyre.

"I was sitting on a fastball but got a slider over the plate," said Glazer, who had walked and bounced out to Itnyre in his first two appearances."

Rowe's colossal belt in the first inning came after Banzhoff singled and Glazer walked to set the early tone with a 3-0 lead.

"Three-run home runs, that's the story with the long ball," said Brunswick coach Roger Dawson. "We wanted to get Rowe out with the changeup but got behind in the count and had to challenge him."

However, Brunswick (12-11) battled back against Glazer, who clearly looked uncomfortable on the mound.

The Railroaders got on the board with a solo home run by Brett Strahin in the second and two runs in the third on a sacrifice fly by Eric Omdahl and double by Zach Dinges.

Twice, the Clear Spring defense helped bail out Glazer with double plays started by second baseman Matt Braithwaite.

The second, in the fourth inning, seemed to rekindle Glazer.

"I thought I better get it together and I started to get ahead in the count," said Glazer. "I didn't have any velocity early and no curveball."

Glazer refocused and finished strong, retiring the last seven 'Roaders, including three on a five-pitch sixth inning.

"We were waiting for the lights to come on with Brandon," said Shives. "He is a special talent and went to another level in the late part of the game."

Glazer allowed nine hits, but only two in the last four innings. He struck out nine and walked only one.

It was the third time the Blazers defeated Brunswick this season.

Clear Spring 7, Brunswick 3
Brunswick 012 000 0 -- 3 9 1
Clear Spring 300 400 x -- 7 7 1

Itnyre and Strahin. Glazer and Morgan. WP--Glazer (5-0). LP--Itnyre. HR--B: Strahin (2nd, none on); CS: Rowe (1st, two on), Glazer (4th, two on).

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