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Braves eliminated from Blue Ridge playoffs

July 18, 2013|By JACK HILL III | Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT — The Brunswick Orioles had a 5-0 lead over the Hagerstown Braves on Wednesday night during the second game of their best-of-3 semifinal series when play was suspended after 5 1/2 innings.

While the Braves reduced the deficit when play resumed Thursday night, it wasn’t enough as the Orioles came away with a 5-2 victory to sweep the series in two games.

The Orioles raised their record to 21-5 and will now face the Martinsburg Blue Sox in the best-of-5 championship series for the Blue Ridge Adult League baseball tournament title. Martinsburg swept the Boonsboro Pirates in two games in the other semifinal series. Brunswick has won the last 10 BRAL tournament championships.

The Braves completed their season with an 11-17 record. It was only the third losing season in their 36-year history. The other losing seasons were in 2004 (18-20) and 2011 (17-19).

“I like how we came back in the last couple of innings,” Hagerstown manager Mike Kipe said. “At least, we put up a fight. It was just a disappointing year. Things didn’t go as well as planned. We know what we need to do to get stronger for next year.”

Brunswick starting pitcher Brian Powell hurled five scoreless innings on Wednesday night to get the win. Powell allowed three hits and no walks while striking out six in five innings.

“I want to tip my hat to Brian Powell,” Brunswick manager Roger Dawson said. “He pitched well to contact and allowed our defense to make the plays. He mixed his pitches well. He had a nice slider and a good changeup. He never really allowed them to put anything together at all.”

On Thursday, Kyle Crist came on in relief to pitch the last two innings for the Orioles.

The Braves scored both of their runs in the bottom of the sixth. Both Trevor Cobb and Fred Kreiger walked to start the rally. One out later, both runners moved up one base on a groundout. A wild pitch enabled Cobb to come home and Kreiger to go to third. R.J. Smith then ripped a single to center to drive in Kreiger.

“Kyle Crist wan’t loose in the sixth,” Dawson said. “He had some command issues. But he was dominant in the seventh. He struck out the side.”

Crist had four strikeouts in his two innings.

Brunswick 5, Hagerstown 2
Brunswick    010    022    0    —    5    6    1
Hagerstown    000    002    0    —    2    5    3
Powell, Crist (6) and Johnson. Sousa, Byers (7) and Cobb. WP — Powell. LP — Sousa.

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