Clear Spring's youth serves loss to Hancock

March 22, 2011|By TIM KOELBLE |
  • Hancock's Steve Starliper is out at first as Clear Spring first baseman Tyler Walling makes the play during Monday's baseball season opener.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

CLEAR SPRING — A young Clear Spring baseball team saw a window of opportunity and made the most of jumping through it on Monday in the season opener against Hancock.

The Blazers, handcuffed through four innings, pushed across three runs in the fifth inning to claim a 4-2 victory over Hancock.

“We looked like nine deer in the headlights going everywhere to start the game,” said Clear Spring coach Mark Shives. “(Hancock pitcher Hunter McKinley) gave us a window and I was impressed that we worked through it.”

McKinley, a sophomore right-hander, blanked the Blazers on one hit through four innings before opening the fifth by hitting Tyler Walling and Austin Yost with pitches.

Ryan Aaron’s perfect sacirfice advanced the runners up one base, allowing Walling and Yost to score when David Moser’s fly ball to right played havoc with Nate Souders and fell for a two-run double.

After a walk and fielder’s choice, Moser scored when Brent Mentzer’s pop fly dropped in short right for a 3-2 lead.

“(Hunter) just lost some concentration coming out in the fifth,” said Hancock coach Brian Kerns. “He was getting ahead in the counts and keeping the ball down, but he didn’t do that there.”

Clear Spring added an insurance run in the sixth inning when Yost ripped a liner to left-center field for a home run for a big insurance run.

In the end, it capped off a victory for the senior right-hander Yost on the hill.

He allowed an unearned run in the third and an RBI single by Eli Souders in the fifth. Yost pitched five innings with three strikeouts and only one walk.

“He didn’t have his best stuff, but for a first game, he competed and threw pretty well,” said Shives.

D. J. Kenna had a nice sixth inning in relief of Yost but things became scary for the Blzers in the seventh. Walling allowed a one-out single to McKinley and a walk.

After a message from Shives, Walling bolted the doors with a pair of strikeouts.

“We had some opportunities to score more than two runs in this game,” said Kerns.

McKinley was also the lone player on either team with two hits as Hancock managed to outhit the Blazers 5-4.

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