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April 24, 2012

Varsity baseball defeats Springbrook

by Claire Sleigh, Print Managing Sports Editor, Ombudsman and Design Team
BLAZER FIELD, Apr. 24ó

There were two different ball games played at Blair last night. The first took place in the first four innings of play, when the varsity baseball team (4-6) struggled to hold the Springbrook Blue Devils (4-5) even. The second took place after the bottom of the fifth inning when the Blazers broke open a major lead brought home a welcome victory of 10-2.

The first couple innings proved frustrating for the Blazers as the runs went back and forth between teams. Both of the Springbrook runs were unearned - they occurred from forced walks and unfortunate situations. While Blair was able to amass three runs during the first couple of innings, they were not hitting their stride and runners were frequently stranded on base.

According to senior co-captain Richard Griner, the team lacked commitment and enthusiasm at the beginning of the game. "We came out thinking we were going to crush this team and we didnít play well," he said.

All that changed in the fifth inning, when the Blazers steadily brought runners around the bases. With bases loaded, and the score seemingly frozen at 3-2, Griner stepped up to the plate and sent a pop fly deep into the field. Although the ball was caught, junior Adam Lott was able to tag up and make it home for the first run of the inning. Next, star batter sophomore Neil Gahart was purposefully walked. However, this plan backfired on the Blue Devils - the next batter was hit by a pitch, and brought home a forced RBI. Senior Michael Riley had the last run of the inning with a double that brought home two runs and increased Blairís lead to five.

According to head coach Eric Zolkiewicz, the Blazers stepped up their game in the last couple of innings and were able to execute in ways theyíve been hoping to all season. The fifth inning was particularly successful for the Blazers because they were able to capitalize on the runners on base. "We're getting clutch base hit," Zolkiewicz said. "Finally tonight we had about six to seven key base hits."

Springbrook tried to make a comeback during the top of the sixth, but the Blair defense was able to hold it together. With runners on first and second, Gahart struck out the Springbrook batter for the last out. The Blazers started off the sixth with a powerful double by sophomore Jack Estrin that made it all the way to the outfield fence, and continued on to score three runs against the Blue Devils.

Zolkiewicz is hopeful that this win will propel them throughout future games. "Right now itís just a matter of confidence," he said. "They can all do it."

The varsity baseball team will play its next home game against Northwest on Saturday, April 28 at 1:30 p.m.



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