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Clear Spring saves best for last, beats Hancock

July 10, 2010|By WILL ROBINSON/Staff Correspondent

CLEAR SPRING -- The Clear Spring All-Stars have developed a flair for the dramatic.

Down 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Clear Spring rallied for three runs to defeat Hancock 7-5 in a Maryland District 1 Little League 11-12 Tournament losers' bracket game on Friday.

Clear Spring will play at Halfway today at 2 in another elimination game.

"We take every game to the end," said Clear Spring coach Jason Willhite. "It's tough playing in the losers' bracket, but someone's stepping up every game."

Three straight singles by Brady Rohrer, Curtis Zellers, and Tim Stoner loaded the bases for Clear Spring. Rohrer sped home on a wild pitch to tie the game at 5, and Jared Barnes knocked home Zellers to give Clear Spring the lead.

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"It felt pretty good getting the go-ahead run," said Barnes. "It was just a lucky hit off the end of the bat."

Travis Capezuto singled home Barnes for an insurance run, and Rohrer closed out Hancock in the sixth, capping 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Clear Spring took the early lead on a leadoff home run by Spencer Schultz in the bottom of the first inning. Jacob Lee made it 3-1 in the bottom of the second inning with a monster two-run homer to center.

"I was listening to (Collin) Willhite, and he said high fastball. I just stepped into it and before you knew it, it was over the wall," said Lee.

Hancock had a four-run rally of its own to take a 5-3 lead in the top of the third, highlighted by RBI singles by Trent Rider and Justin Barnard.

Barnard also had a solo homer in the second inning for Hancock's first run.

Jared Hose took the tough loss despite keeping Clear Spring off balance with a good mix of curveballs and fastballs. He allowed four earned runs while walking one and striking out four.

"Hose gave his heart and soul, 110 percent," said Hancock coach Brian Rider. "He said, 'Everybody jump on my back, and I'll carry you.' I couldn't be more proud of him."

Rider hoped his players learned a lesson from the loss.

"Nothing's guaranteed in baseball. I just told them to keep their heads up, and hopefully they learned something," said Rider.

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