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Clear Spring walks past Halfway

June 24, 2011|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com

CLEAR SPRING — Even though there is only one returning player for Clear Spring from last year’s Maryland District 1 9-10 championship squad, the team was able to successfully begin defense of its crown on Friday night.

Clear Spring combined 16 walks from Halfway pitchers with six hits and plenty of aggressive base running on wild pitches for a 19-9 victory over Halfway.

Clear Spring returns to action in the winners’ bracket today, hosting Valley at 1 p.m.

“We didn’t talk to them at all about defending the title. It’s a different team,” said manager Jason Willhite. “They know themselves what happened last year.”

The end came in the bottom of the fifth when Clear Spring scored three runs with no outs.

Chase Gallihugh singled and scored on wild pitches, Tyler Horst walked and scored on wild pitches, and Carson Poffenberger was hit by a pitch and also came around on wild pitches.

“We had a little bit of a slow start but kept it going with positive attitudes,” said Willhite.

Clear Spring took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on three walks and two wild pitches after Halfway left the bases loaded in the top half without scoring.

“We were more concerned at the time that we only scored one run in the first,” said Willhite. “Their first pitcher (Garrett Shoemaker) was strong but we just showed patience.”

Halfway answered immediately with a seven-run second thanks to three Clear Spring errors. Ethan Miller had an RBI groundout and Shane Roberts drove in a run with a single to highlight the inning.

Clear Spring came back with five runs in the bottom half to cut the lead to 7-6, with Tanner Sines’ two-run double the big hit of the inning.

After Halfway made it 8-6 in the top of the third, Clear Spring took control with seven runs in their half of the inning against Roberts and Miller. Clear Spring did it with only two hits — by Garret Hose and Carson Poffenberger — along with six walks.

Halfway manager Tim Anderson was not in distress after the loss.

“The kids did well, they stayed aggressive and kept on trying hard,” Anderson said. “We had an opportunity to score in the first but the catcher’s interference call kind of took the bat out of a big hitter and we kind of unraveled after that.”

Hose and Poffenberger had two hits each and Alex Kehr, Poffenberger and Tyler Horst each scored three runs for Clear Spring. Hose picked up the win, pitching 2 2/3 innings of two-hit relief and allowing just one unearned run.

Halfway plays on Tuesday at home against the loser of today’s Federal-Hancock contest.

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