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Kellinger keeps Braves alive in BRAL

July 21, 2011|By JACK HILL III | Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG — The Hagerstown Braves were one strike away from seeing their season come to an end.

One swing of Keith Kellinger’s bat allowed the Braves to play at least one more day.

Kellinger blasted an 0-2 pitch over the fence in left field to lift the Braves to a 6-5 win over the Brunswick Orioles in Game 3 of the Blue Ridge Adult League championship series.

“All I wanted to do was get a hit,” Kellinger said. “I thought that he was going to throw me a fastball and he did. I got right on it. It wasn’t what I was trying to do, but that is how baseball works.”

Hagerstown (16-16) hosts Brunswick (25-6) in Game 4 of the best-of-5 series tonight at 6:15 at Smithsburg High School. Brunswick, which has won nine straight league titles, leads the series, 2-1.

Trailing 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh, Braves leadoff hitter Trevor Cobb drew a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Marcellus Sumlin. One out later, Kellinger smacked the game-winner off Brunswick ace Spencer Cromer (6-1). The walkoff homer came on Cromer’s 120th pitch.

Hagerstown pitcher Colby Fisher threw a complete game, allowing no walks and only two earned runs in seven innings. He threw only 89 pitches.

Brunswick took advantage of three Hagerstown errors in the top of the first inning to score three runs.

Hagerstown got one run in the bottom of the first on a RBI double to left by Sumlin.

The Orioles extended their lead to 4-1 in the third when Josh Wenderoth hit a solo homer to center.

The Braves cut the deficit to 4-2 in the fourth on a solo homer to center by Tim Kellinger, the younger brother of Keith.

Brunswick raised its lead to 5-2 in the fifth when Jake Darr tripled to left and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Wenderoth.

Hagerstown narrowed the gap to 5-4 in the sixth when Matt Murray came through with a two-run single to left.

“Keith Kellinger has been a longtime Brave and he stepped up when we needed him to,” Hagerstown manager Mike Kipe said. “Colby Fisher did great out there on the mound.”

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