Orioles take 2-0 lead on Braves in BRAL final

July 20, 2011|By JACK HILL III | Staff Correspondent

BRUNSWICK, Md. — The Brunswick Orioles used good pitching and timely hitting to pull out a 3-1 victory over the Hagerstown Braves on Wednesday night to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-5 Blue Ridge Adult League baseball championship series.

Brunswick (25-5) can clinch the title with a win Thursday night over Hagerstown (15-16) in Game 3 at Smithsburg High School at 6:15. The Braves must win three straight games to win the series.

Orioles left-hander Brad Fitz gave up one run on three hits in 6 1/3 innings to get the win. Righty Frank Zier relieved Fitz when Hagerstown loaded the bases with one out in the seventh and retired the only two hitters he faced to end the game and pick up the save.

“They threw another lefty at us,” Braves manager Mike Kipe said. “He hit the spots and changed speeds, which was much like last night. He changed speeds enough to keep our offense down. We started to get it going in the top of the seventh. We got the bases loaded and the tying run on second base. We just came up a hit short.”

Brunswick manager Roger Dawson was proud of Fitz’s performance.

“I thought it was another good pitching outing for both teams,” Dawson said. “Fitz did a good job. He got a little tired in the seventh. Zier did a good job closing at the end. I thought Fitz pounded the zone. He was lights out for the first five innings.”

The Orioles snapped a scoreless tie with two runs in the fourth. Wayne Toms led off with a single to center and scored on a double to center by Jake Darr, who moved to third on a single to left by Josh Wenderoth. After Wenderoth was picked off first base, Ty Main walked. Main was retired on the back end of a double steal attempt, but Darr crossed home safely with the second run.

The Braves got a run back in the top of the sixth. Tyler Beard singled to center, stole second and scored on a double to left by Tim Kellinger.

The Orioles scored their final run in the bottom half on a solo home run to left by Josh Wenderoth.

Hagerstown starting pitcher Dave Warrenfeltz allowed three runs on six hits in six innings.

“I thought Dave battled on the mound and kept us in the game,” Kipe said. “When you get a quality start out of your pitcher like we did tonight, you expect to win. They didn’t have many hits, but they pieced a few together to get a few clutch runs.”

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