11-12 state tourney: Patience is rewarded

Clear Spring takes advantage of walks, hit batsmen in rout of Brunswick

July 23, 2012|By TIM KOELBLE |
  • Clear Spring players celebrate Jaret Lazich's grand slam against Brunswick during Monday's winners' bracket semifinal at the Maryland 11-12 Little League state tournament in Brunswick.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

BRUNSWICK, Md. — Six hits doesn’t sound like much when talking about Clear Spring’s offense.

Clear Spring didn’t need many to go along with everything else that was put on its table Monday afternoon at the Maryland 11-12 Little League state tournament.

Clear Spring took advantage of nine walks and four hit batsmen as everything fell in place for a rousing and unexpected 16-0 victory over Brunswick, the District 2 champion which received a first-round bye.

“Heck no, I didn’t expect anything like this,” said Clear Spring manager Pete Lazich. “With the walks, it showed we had some discipline at the plate today.”

Clear Spring gets a day off and will play West Salisbury — a 10-3 winner over South Maryland — on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the winners’ bracket final.

The rout began with a five-run second inning. Josh Colliflower led off with a walk  and Zack Greenlee followed with a single. Both moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by Connor Michael, and Colliflower scored on a base hit by Garrett Embly.

Surprisingly, Brunswick replaced starter Tyler Ebbetts after 35 pitches and went to Zach Heffer, who hit Joe Micco with a pitch to load the bases. Jaret Lazich, after striking out his first time up, made amends by launching a grand slam for a 5-0 lead.

“I got a good pitch and just trusted my hands and went after it, and the ball just went,” said Jaret Lazich.

“It was huge getting that first run in on a big hit by Garrett,” said Pete Lazich. “Then, to score more and make it 5-0 it is a good situation to be in.”

Colliflower mowed down Brunswick, striking out the side in the second and at one point whiffing five batters in a row.

“I hit my spots with the fastball,” said Colliflower, who allowed only two hits in four innings and had nine strikeouts. “My curveball wasn’t that good.”

Most observers were surprised Brunswick pulled Ebberts so quick.

“Maybe they have a game plan for down the road,” said Pete Lazich. “But we were excited to get the lead with Josh pitching. ... He hit his spots and worked ahead of the batters. “He was economical with his pitches (51) and that’s what we expect from him.”

After pushing across a run in the third for a 6-0 lead, Clear Spring — which used a 12-run inning to beat Easton on Sunday — came up with another double-digit inning in the fourth Monday, and did it with just two hits.

Jaret Lazich hit an RBI single and Dylan Altman cleared the bases with a three-run double. Otherwise, a combination of three hit batsmen and six walks helped shove runs across for Clear Spring.

Clear Spring can take a quick breather until Wednesday against West Salisbury.

“I’m sure we’ll see a solid pitcher, but we’ll also have our pitching in place,” said Pete Lazich.

Brunswick fell into the losers’ bracket and returns to action Tuesday night at 7 against Rising Run in an elimination game. South Maryland will meet Easton at 4 p.m. in the other elimination game.

Rising Sun 11, Hughesville 7

Hughesville held a 5-2 lead after three innings, but Rising Sun rose to the occasion with a five-run fourth to take a 7-5 lead.

Brady Krahn had a big two-run double in the fourth, part of his three-hit, three-RBI performance that kept Rising Sun alive in the losers’ bracket.

West Salisbury 10, South Maryland 3

West Salisbury started fast with a four-run first inning that included a three-run home run by Matt Chrysatome.

Cade Hurley had a two-run home run in the second and Malik Johnson hit a solo homer in the third for West Salisbury.

Relief pitching was big for West Salisbury. Chrysatome pitched 2 2/3 hitless innings with four strikeouts and Johnson finished with two perfect innings, striking out five.

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