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Braves' errors prove costly in Blue Ridge defeat

July 25, 2010|By JACK HILL III/Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG -- The Hagerstown Braves scored three runs in the second inning, but the Brunswick Orioles held them scoreless after that and scored four runs in the fifth to take control in an 8-3 victory Saturday in Game 4 of the Blue Ridge Adult League championship series at Smithsburg High School.

Brunswick (23-7) leads Hagerstown (17-16) 3-1 in the best-of-7 series. Game 5 will be played at Brunswick today at 1 p.m. If the Orioles win today, they will clinch their eighth straight league tournament title.

The last time the Braves won the league tournament title was in 2002.

Brunswick's four-run fifth broke a 3-3 tie. Jake Darr led off by reaching on one of Hagerstown's five errors. Darr took third on a single to center by Ty Main and came home when John McDowell grounded out to first. Matt Rankin and Roger Dawson followed with back-to-back RBI doubles to center. One out later, Bryan Nolan hit an RBI single to center.

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"We hit the ball when we needed to," Brunswick manager Dawson said. "It was a 3-3 ballgame going into that inning. We knew that we had to put one nice inning together. We were able to get a few key hits."

The Orioles added a run in the sixth on two walks and a throwing error to make it 8-3.

"With the win that we had yesterday, I thought that we would come out with more of a winning attitude," Hagerstown manager Mike Kipe said. "We started the game that way by putting up those early runs. In the fifth inning, they got a couple of lucky bounces and we stopped throwing strikes. From there on, we didn't act like we could come back. We couldn't recover."

Brunswick pitcher Travis Lee gave up one earned run in seven innings and did not issue a walk to get the complete-game win. Rankin had two hits and two RBIs, Darr added two hits and an RBI, and Main also had two hits.

Tyler Beard, Marcellus Sumlin and Matt Johnson had two hits each for the Braves. Reliever Bobby Neelon worked 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

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