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Clear Spring out of state 11-12 tournament

July 26, 2012|By MARK KELLER | keller@herald-mail.com
  • Clear Spring's Joe Micco is safe at third base in the third inning of Thursday night's losers' bracket final against Brunswick in the Maryland 11-12 Little League state tournament at Brunswick, Md.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

BRUNSWICK, Md. — The Clear Spring All-Stars took Brunswick by storm on Monday, blasting the Maryland State 11-12 Little League Tournament hosts for 16 runs and showing them to the losers’ bracket.

On Thursday night, the hosts were far less hospitable.

Brunswick scored six runs in the top of the second inning and tacked on insurance runs in each of the next three frames to beat the District 1 champions 10-5 in the losers’ bracket final of the tournament.

Brunswick will face unbeaten West Salisbury in the championship round Friday at 6 p.m., with a final game scheduled for Saturday at 6 if Brunswick wins.

The game was delayed for 90 minutes in the sixth inning by lightning and rain. When play resumed, Clear Spring — trailing 10-1 — sprung to life, hoping to replicate its 12-run sixth inning against Easton on Sunday.

With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Tyler Hill hit a looper into shallow right that fell in between Brunswick fielders. Jaret Lazich and Dylan Altman followed with singles to score Hill, and Lazich scored on a groundout by A.J. Yost to make it 10-3.

Josh Colliflower hit a drive to deep left field that Tyler Rice was camped under, but the ball sailed over his head and bounced off the top of the fence and over for a two-run homer to cut the deficit to 10-5.

And the drama continued to increase. Zack Greenlee singled, Connor Michael walked and Chase Reed was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but they were all left stranded as the game ended on a strikeout.

Clear Spring left 12 runners on base in the game.

Clear Spring took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Lazich led off with a single to left and Altman followed with a base hit to right. Lazich went from first to third on the hit, drawing a throw that allowed Altman to take second.

Lazich eventually scored on a passed ball, but Brunswick starter Tyler Ebberts whiffed Colliflower and Greenlee to avoid further damage.

It seemed that second inning got off to a good start for Clear Spring, as starting pitcher Hill struck out Zach Heffner. But the third strike in the dirt scooted past catcher Joe Micco, allowing the speedy Heffner to reach first. Heffner was retired at second on a fielder’s choice grounder by Austin Stockman.

Tyler Rice followed with a double to the gap in right-center, sending Stockman to third. Brittany Walker grounded out to Colliflower for the second out, but drove in Robbie Cruz — who entered to run for Stockman — to tie the score at 1.

Joe Wanger hit a grounder to third that handcuffed Yost and scored Rice for a 2-1 Brunswick lead. That opened the flood gates for the hosts.

Ebberts singled, Luke Struss was hit by a pitch and Aaron Fitzwater drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 3-1. Dominick Naylor rapped a single to center that scored Ebberts and Struss, and Fitzwater came all the way around from first when the throw sailed high into the backstop.

On the mound, Ebberts was cruising. He held Clear Spring to three hits over 4 2/3 innings while striking out nine.

Brunswick tacked on single runs in the third and fourth on an RBI single by Struss and a solo home run by Naylor — his fourth of the tournament. Not to be outdone, Ebberts hit his fourth home run of the tournament in the fifth inning, and Heffner added an RBI on a sacrifice bunt to make it 10-1.

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