CLEAR SPRING — Clear Spring’s baseball team celebrated its Senior Night in rousing fashion, as the Blazers defeated Hancock 15-2 in six innings.
Clear Spring (12-6) took a 6-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth, before scoring nine runs in the inning, highlighted by a pair of grand slams by Dylan Stouffer and Brandon Haupt.
“I’d never seen two grand slams in one inning before,” said Clear Spring coach Mark Shives. “It was Senior Night tonight and we got our minds right in the fifth and sixth innings. We’re setting up for a playoff run now. It was kind of perfect that way.”
Brent Mentzer brought home C.J. Elwood with a double, which also sent Nick Hill to third base. Logan Appel was then hit by a pitch to set up Stouffer’s shot.
“I saw everybody on base and I wanted to get my teammates in to get closer to the 10-run rule,” said Stouffer. “I wanted to finish today strong since we weren’t playing too well at the start.”
A single by Hunter Fiddler was sandwiched between walks to Jared Brant and Dylan Appel to load the bases for Haupt’s walk-off blast to left-center field.
“When I hit the ball I was thinking, ‘Just get out,’” Haupt said. “(The coaches) have been bringing me in to get runs when we need them. That’s become my role on the team.”
“We’ve smacked the ball all season, whether it’s at home or at other parks,” said Shives. “(The players) are getting the mentality that the big inning is around somewhere, and that they’ll find it.”
Clear Spring fell behind early when Hancock (8-11) scored two runs in the top of the second inning. Vinny Foreman scored on an error and Dylan Finney hit an RBI single to score Tucker Price. That would be Hancock’s only threat, however, as Clear Spring scored two runs in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings. Adam Mellott hit a solo homer to left-center in the fourth.
“That’s been the story of our last two games,” said Hancock coach Brian Kerns. “We started this season 7-2, but it went bad, plain and simple. I question the effort, because 10 minutes after the game the kids were laughing and carrying on. It may be time for a change.”
Pitcher Forrest Williamson pitched three innings of one-hit relief to earn the win for Clear Spring, striking out three.
Clear Spring 15, Hancock 2
Hancock 020 000 — 2 3 2
Clear Spring 002 229 — 15 11 1
Wiles, Manning (5), Finney (6) and Manning, Lashley (6). Shanholtz, Williamson (3), Moser (6) and Stouffer. WP — Williamson. LP — Wiles.
HR — Mellott (4th, none on); Stouffer (6th, three on); Haupt (6th, three on).