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Clear-cut champions

Clear Spring completes its dominant run through the Maryland District 1 9-10 Tournament

July 05, 2010|By DAN KAUFFMAN
  • Clear Spring catcher Joe Micco tags National's Cameron Dorsey (8) out at the plate in the third inning Monday night.
Colleen McGrath, Staff photographer

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CLEAR SPRING -- For 3 1/2 innings of Monday night's championship game, National's All-Stars tested Clear Spring like no other team had in the Maryland District 1 9-10 Little League Tournament.

Then Clear Spring found the potent offense that was the story of the tournament.

Clear Spring exploded for nine runs on seven hits in the bottom of the fourth inning to finish off National 14-4 and complete a dominant 5-0 run through District 1.

"We finally broke loose," Clear Spring manager Pete Lazich said. "We had to keep thinking the hits would come. They kept their heads up, and we finally caught fire like we had been."

Clear Spring won all five of its games in four innings, outscoring opponents 94-23.

Clear Spring's next test will come in the state tournament at South Mountain Little League in Boonsboro, beginning against the District 3 champion on July 17 at 5 p.m.

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"I thought we had a chance to (win the district)," Lazich said. "I know this group of kids and believe in them, and it's nice to see they believe in themselves."

No team played Clear Spring as close as National through three innings -- a testament to the resilience National showed in eliminating Hancock, American, West End, Sharpsburg and Valley on its run through the losers' bracket to get to Monday's final. National trailed just 5-4 entering the fourth.

"I'm very proud of all these kids to come through the losers' bracket," National manager Dave Hutzler said. "Playing in the championship game is an honor, as I said before."

Clear Spring got its bats going to wrap up the title. In the fourth, Zack Hill walked, Joe Micco singled and Jaret Lazich hit a two-run double.

Still in the fourth, Dylan Altman walked, Connor Michael hit an RBI double, Josh Colliflower singled and Garrett Embly, Micco and Altman each added RBI singles.

"Everybody contributes, and if you look at our five wins, it's been a team effort, and was again tonight," Pete Lazich said. "It was a good test for us, and as a manager, it's great to see a group of kids respond to a test, and I had confidence we would."

National took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on Rian Flaherty's RBI single.

Clear Spring took a 2-1 lead in the bottom half on Tyler Hill's single, Zack Greenlee's double and a two-run error.

National bounced back to take a 4-2 lead in the top of the third. Corban Luna, Cameron Dorsey and Trevor Custer each hit an RBI single.

Clear Spring answered with three runs for a 5-4 lead in the bottom half. Colliflower hit an RBI single.

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