Prep Baseball: Appel's homer gives Clear Spring walk-off win

April 01, 2013|By BRETT NIEVES |

CLEAR SPRING — When Logan Appel stepped to the plate in the bottom of the seventh, the scoreboard read 3-3.

One swing later, the game ended as the scoreboard showed a 4-3 score after Appel went yard to left field for Clear Spring, giving the Blazers a walk-off MVAL Antietam victory over Smithsburg on Monday.

“I expect big things out of big players,” Clear Spring coach Mark Shives said.

The Blazers (2-0, 2-0) watched a 3-1 lead evaporate in the sixth inning when Smithsburg’s Zach Krall plated two runners with a base hit to knot the game at 3-3.

Clear Spring failed to produce a run in the sixth inning, setting up the walk-off opportunity for Appel, who didn’t shy away from it.

Despite winning in melodramatic fashion, Shives said his team still has some improving to do.

“You could tell it was the second game of the season,” Shives said. “We need to get better and we’re still a work in progress. I’m ecstatic we beat a good Smithsburg team, but we need to put a better product out on the field.”

The game slogged along early as no baserunners from either team made it past second base until the fourth inning. Both coaches felt the game was played at a rather lethargic pace.

“It was a sluggish game,” said Shives. “High school kids are creatures of their own routines and not having school today got the game off to a sluggish start.”

“We just slugged through the game,” Smithsburg coach Trey Cobb said. “We have to play with energy and enthusiasm, and we didn’t.”

Smithsburg (2-4, 0-2) broke the scoreless tie in the top of the fourth inning when Kyle Dinterman scored on a fielder’s choice to put the Leopards up 1-0.

The Blazers took the lead when they plated three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Dylan Stouffer drove in two runs with a base hit and Dylan Appel scored on the same play by way of a fielding error.

After Krall tied the game in the sixth, the Leopards were still searching for that game-changing inning. Smithsburg’s offense did beam at times — the Leopards out-hit Clear Spring 9-4 — but they couldn’t uncork the timely hit.

“One big hit ... that was the difference,” said Cobb. “When you hold Clear Spring — a good hitting club — to four runs on their field, you think and expect the offense would get going. Our team didn’t seem to want that one big inning.”

Clear Spring 4, Smithsburg 3
Smithsburg     000    102    0    —    3    9    1
Clear Spring    000    030    1    —    4    4    1
Schwartz, Tracey (5) and Durning. Morgan, Bryant (4), Moser (6) and Stouffer. WP — Moser. LP — Tracey. HR — CS: L. Appel (7th, none on).

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