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Prep Baseball: Stouffer quietly drives Blazers past Rebels

April 26, 2012|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com

CLEAR SPRING — When it comes to baseball, Dylan Stouffer loves to go out.

But the Clear Spring baseball team was really happy to see its cleanup hitter have a comfy, quiet evening in on Wednesday.

Stouffer, who admits he loves to hit homers, stayed in the park, but still managed five RBIs to lead the Blazers to a 12-3 MVAL Antietam victory over a South Hagerstown team that just couldn’t get started.

Stouffer didn’t get the chance to flex his muscles, but he didn’t have to. He used a sacrifice fly in the first, a second-inning grounder, a two-run double in the fourth and an RBI single in the sixth to have a hand in all four of the Blazers’ rallies.

“I was just trying to find a good pitch and put a good swing on it to help my team,” Stouffer said. “Last year, I had better power numbers.”

The Blazers (8-5, 6-5) gave Stouffer ample opportunity to make good with his swing.

The first four hitters in Clear Spring’s lineup — Nick Hill, Brent Mentzer, Logan Appel and Stouffer — combined to go 7 for 14 with seven RBIs and nine runs scored.

“They have been our bread and butter all year,” Clear Spring coach Mark Shives said. “I thought that our season turned around when the bottom half of the order started to produce, but today the front of the order set the tone.”

South (5-10, 3-6) continued its trend of slow starts as the Rebels allowed Clear Spring three runs in each of the first two innings for a 6-0 lead.

“That’s been our M.O.,” said South coach Zack Swisher. “We struggle in the first inning. We have tried all kinds of things to break it — like having our pitchers throw extra in the bullpen.

“We dig ourselves a hole and try to comeback, but sometimes its insurmountable.”

Clear Spring got to South starter Aaron Roby for three runs in the first as Appel hit an RBI single before Stouffer’s sacrifice fly. David Moser gave the Blazers a 3-0 lead with a groundout.

The Blazers doubled the lead in the second on a two-run triple by Mentzer and Stouffer’s grounder.

Hill led off the fourth with his second single and moved to third on Appel’s double to left to set up Stouffer’s two-run double to center that nearly cleared the fence off South reliever Zach Sines for an 8-0 lead.

“I hit it on the end of the bat,” he said.

South finally showed life as the Rebels batted around to get to Hill, Clear Spring’s starting pitcher, with three runs in the top of the fifth.

Kenny Mack and Jordan Dickens drew leadoff walks to start the rally. Mack scored on Sean Przywieczerski’s fly to right that Mentzer threw away for an error. Tim Kitchen followed with an RBI single and Brandon Hess added a run-scoring double — both with one out — to chase Hill.

Stouffer came on in relief and loaded the bases with walks before escaping without further damage.

Clear Spring capped the scoring with four runs in the sixth, highlighted by Stouffer’s RBI single.

C.J. Elwood led Clear Spring with three hits, while Appel and Hill added two each.

South managed five hits as Hess and Kitchen finished with two each.

Clear Spring 12, South Hagerstown 3
South     000    030    0    —    3    5    2
Clear Spring    330    204    x    —    12    11    3
Roby, Sine (3), Dickens (5), Rice (6) and K. Johnson; Hill, Stouffer (5) and Elwood. WP — Hill. LP — Roby.

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