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May 14, 2011

Varsity baseball knocked out of playoffs

by Liv Jacobson, Online Entertainment Editor
BLAZER STADIUM, May 13

Blair baseball (13-8) lost its first playoff game to the Walter Johnson (WJ) Wildcats (8-10) by a score of 6-4. The game was the last for head coach John McDonald, and he was not disappointed in his team's performance. "This is nothing to hang our heads about," he said.

Junior Richard Griner hits a foul ball. Blair had beaten Walter Johnson twice this season but failed to beat the Wildcats in the playoffs. Colin Wiencek
Junior Richard Griner hits a foul ball. Blair had beaten Walter Johnson twice this season but failed to beat the Wildcats in the playoffs.
The first six innings of the game were tough for Blair, with huge Wildcat hits and solid pitching leading to a 6-1 WJ lead. The bottom of the sixth called for a Blair comeback, however, with three runs scored as a result of multiple walks and clutch hits from seniors Pierce Marston, Britton Smith, Lucas Babinec and sophomore Tray Brown. This narrowed the Wildcat's lead to 6-4, but the Blazers failed to finish the job in the end.

After a three up, three down top of the seventh, Blair had its last opportunity to win the game, and the stadium was full with tension. Unfortunately for McDonald's squad, Blair's hitters couldn't make up the runs needed, with two outs at first base and a pop fly hit straight to right field.

Senior Pierce Marston pitched the first five innings in the last game of his four year Blair baseball career, and for much of the game he performed extremely well. He came up big with key strikeouts, including a clutch K in the top of the third inning to leave three baserunners stranded. But while Marston pitched a good game, the Blazers struggled to find their offensive groove.

The Blazers fell 6-4 against Walter Johnson. Friday's loss was John McDonald's final game as head coach. Colin Wiencek
The Blazers fell 6-4 against Walter Johnson. Friday's loss was John McDonald's final game as head coach.
The fifth inning was a painful one for the Blazers, when four huge Walter Johnson hits allowed them to increase their lead to 4-1. Freshman Neil Gahart came in to pitch the sixth inning and had two solid strikeouts; however, a Wildcat double brought two players home, widening their lead to 6-1. Senior Ben Bucholz pitched the final inning of the game, and although there were no strikeouts, Blair's infield stepped up and shut out the inning.

"They didn't play poorly, and they made big plays and big pitches," McDonald said of the team. As for his graduating seniors, McDonald was extremely proud. "I'm happy to see our seniors play well. Six out of seven of them got hits, and no one had a bad game," he said. As for why the team lost, McDonald simply believed that Walter Johnson played better and made the better plays.

Following the last game of a winning season, McDonald was extremely proud. "It was a great season, and one of the few teams I've coached that played to their potential," he said.



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  • alanna g on May 18, 2011 at 1:17 PM
    i love evan h!
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