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Parks one-hits Blazers in 1A final

May 29, 2010|By TIM KOELBLE
  • Clear Spring's Matt Braithwaite slides to keep a ball in front of him during Saturday's Class 1A baseball championship game at Cal Ripken Stadium.
By Colleen McGrath, Staff Photographer

  • View all of the photos for purchase!

    ABERDEEN, Md. -- Adam Parks showed why he might have one of the best high school arms around.

    The junior right-hander stifled Clear Spring's batters from the outset and led St. Michaels to a 4-0 victory and the Maryland Class 1A state title over the Blazers on Saturday at Cal Ripken Stadium.

    Parks fanned 15 and had a no-hitter until catcher Corey Morgan delivered a clean single to right field in the sixth inning.

    "(Parks) made it difficult on us from the start," said Clear Spring coach Mark Shives. "He is as good as I have seen and we're going to see him down the road somewhere."

    Parks struck out eight of nine Blazers through three innings -- Brad Banzhoff popped up a bunt for the other out. Parks set up Clear Spring batters with a fastball-slider combination and dealt the knockout punch with a sweeping curveball.

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"There was a wide strike zone, but he still dominated," said Shives.

The only run Parks needed came in the first inning, as the Saints (23-2) scored without getting a ball out of the infield.

Facing Clear Spring's Brandon Glazer, Cody Joseph led off with an infield single on a shot Joel Rowe nearly snared at first base. Joseph moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a groundout before scoring on Parks' groundout.

In the third, St. Michaels scored three unearned runs thanks to two infield fielding errors by the Blazers (19-4). J.D. Correa brought in two runs on a single and Jake Fluharty added an RBI single for a 4-0 lead before Glazer retired the side.

"We gave them some opportunities defensively in the third inning and they cashed in," said Shives.

Clear Spring had opportunities despite the lack of hits, as St. Michaels' defense was suspect with seven errors. But each time the Blazers threatened, the rallies were snuffed out.

In the fourth inning, two errors on one play and a hit batter with one out put Clear Spring in business, but Parks came through with a pair of punchouts.

The Blazers had a walk and a Saints error in the fifth go for naught. Another error and Morgan's hit in the sixth also got brushed aside.

In the seventh, Cody Englehart reached on an error and got to second before Parks ended the game by including Braithwaite's foul flyout. Overall, Clear Spring left seven runners on base.

Glazer (6-1) went the first five innings, allowing eight hits and one walk while striking out three.

"We rode Brandon for as long as we could," said Shives. "He gave us a chance to win and it's tough to do that without any runs."

Morgan summarized Clear Spring's season: "We had a great year, more than just a runner-up trophy. We had camaraderie among the guys and you can't buy that."

St. Michaels has won two state championships in the last three years.

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