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Overflowing offense treats Clear Spring 9-10s to overwhelming win

June 30, 2010|By BOB PARASILITI
  • Clear Spring's Dylan Altman dives safely into third base under the tag of West End's Ryan Nikirk on Tuesday during the third inning of Clear Spring's 26-7 win in a winners' bracket game in the Maryland District 1 9-10 Tournament.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

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    HAGERSTOWN -- The Clear Spring 9-10 All-Stars get a kick out of cans.

    Clear Spring doesn't worry about playing as visitors, the other team scoring runs or playing tight games.

    That's because it believes it can score first, score often and score more than any other team it faces.

    Clear Spring did it once again on Tuesday, playing as the visiting team at West End. It responded with more aggressive play to score five runs in the first to start a 26-7 victory in a Maryland District 1 Little League 9-10 Tournament winners' bracket game that was halted after four innings by the 10-run rule.

    "We don't mind (batting first) at all," said Clear Spring coach Pete Lazich. "No matter what happens, we always think we are going to score more."

    He isn't lying.

    Clear Spring scored at least five runs in each of the four innings and held West End to just one seven-run outburst in the second to make the game interesting.

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With the victory, Clear Spring travels to Valley today at 6 p.m. to play in the winners' bracket final. Meanwhile, West End begins the long road back to the finals, hosting National at 6 p.m. in a losers' bracket game.

Clear Spring shortstop Josh Colliflower went 4 for 5 -- including a fourth-inning grand slam -- with five RBIs, while Joe Micco added a 4 for 4 night with three RBIs. AJay Yost hit a two-run home run in the first and Zack Greenlee added a three-hit game as Clear Spring applied pressure and took advantage of six West End errors along with numerous walks, wild pitches and passed balls.

"That was a 100-percent team effort," Lazich said. "Each player on the team contributed somehow at some point of the game. AJay's homer set the tone in the game."

Tyler Hill capped the performance with the complete-game victory on 53 pitches -- including 34 in West End's seven-run second.

"We didn't play our game tonight," said West End manager Jeff Jenkins. "Clear Spring just came out hitting. It is going to be tough to come back, but it is better to be in this situation later than early in the tournament."

Clear Spring jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first as two West End errors prolonged the inning. Clear Spring used its speed and aggressiveness to set up the rally, which was highlighted by Conner Michael's RBI single and Yost's homer to center field off West End starter Will Grove.

Clear Spring pushed the lead to 11-0 in the second with the help of two more West End errors. Colliflower had an RBI single and Jaret Lazich stole home to key the rally.

West End showed some life in the bottom of the second with all seven of their runs to cut the deficit to 11-7. C.J. Bright had a three-run homer and Miz Norris added a two-run single to drive the comeback try.

But Clear Spring countered with six runs in the third as Dylan Altman had a two-run single and Micco and Greenlee each singled to drive in runs.

Clear Spring closed the game with a nine-run fourth, driven by Micco's two-run single and Colliflower's grand slam.

"We are a good hitting team, but we are playing it one game at a time," said Pete Lazich. "Whoever we play tomorrow will be a good team."

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