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April 26, 2010

Magruder overpowers boys' baseball 15-7

by Jewel Galbraith, Print Managing Features Editor
BLAZER FIELD, April 22

Varsity baseball (7-2) lost 15-7 to the Magruder Colonels (3-8) in a game that started out with dominant Blazer offense, but lessened as the team succumbed to defensive mistakes. While defense was their greatest weakness, the Blair team was also hurt by multiple strike outs.

Since the game was rescheduled from a game originally hosted by Magruder, Blair batted first as the "away" team. Their first inning was offensively one of their best performances of the game. A series of doubles by seniors Alex Egber and Elliot Meyerson among other batters resulted in a three run Blazer lead by the end of the top of the inning.

Magruder immediately countered Blair's offensive with two runs in the bottom of the inning. While Magruder's hitting was generally strong, the Colonel's ability to get on base during the game was compounded by Blair's outfield problems. Many of their batters were able to take extra bases due in part to fielding mistakes on Blair's part that weren't necessarily errors, but rather defensive plays that Blair wasn't able to execute.

In the second inning, four of Magruder's first five at-bats resulted in hits to the outfield that Blair failed to catch, leading to two runs for Magruder that brought the score to 4-3. This pattern continued throughout the game as the Colonels scored run after run off of balls hit to center and right field, past Blair outfielders' gloves. According to junior Evan Epps, defense often played too far back, which caused the downfall of many of their attempted plays. Blair pitchers tended to pitch high fastballs, which were easier for Colonel batters to hit hard.

The Blazers had another offensive success in the third inning when senior Sammy Denenberg's hit to centerfield batted in Meyerson and senior Nate Hukill. Then, throughout the third and fourth innings, pitcher Nevin Brown was able to keep Magruder back and maintain a 5-4 Blazer lead.

After that, the Colonels sped forward. A home run and a hit to the outfield missed by Blair's centerfielder that brought three runners home moved Magruder into the lead at a decisive 9-5. Even after Blair batters were able to get on base, racked-up outs kept them from being batted in by their teammates.

As the game wore on, Magruder continued to score runs off of hits to the outfield, and Blair struggled to get hits off of Magruder's pitching. The game ended decisively in the top of the seventh inning with a final score of 15-7. Volunteer assistant coach Spike Bauroth attributed the loss to simply not having enough hits and enough runs. However, he acknowledge that the team has been continually working hard in practice, and is merely having trouble executing plays and achieving successful at-bats come game time.



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