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April 30, 2015

Baseball defeats Magruder

by Maximillian Foley-Keene, Online Editor-in-Chief
Blair baseball soundly defeated the Magruder Colonels (8-7) Monday night 11-5 to improve to a record of 10-3 on the season. The Blazers rode their momentum to extend their winning streak to five games. With a strong pitching staff and warming bats, Blair hopes to finish this week's games strong and continue their excellent play into the playoffs.


Blair came out of the gates slowly on Monday night. Starting pitcher Ian Donaldson gave up a leadoff single to begin the game. Magruder then executed an excellent sacrifice bunt to move the runner to second. A defensive error on a deep fly ball to left field brought home a run to give Magruder a 1-0 advantage. The next batter smacked a hard line drive up the middle to bring in another run. Donaldson settled down, retiring the next two batters to keep the game 2-0.


In the bottom of the first, Blair's offense more than made up for its lost ground. The Magruder starting pitcher was unable to retire a single Blazer, hitting both senior Alex Frandsen and Donaldson. Center fielder Horge Noda managed to load the bases with a sacrifice bunt. Magruder then walked captain John Ramsey and right fielder Bobby Pfefferle to tie the game up at two runs apiece. At this point, the starter was removed from the game. But the runs didn't stop coming. A bouncing single off the bat of Aaron Clingman brought home two runs, and Pfefferle made it home on a passed ball.


After the game, Coach Eric Zolkiewicz said that first inning was the key to Blair's win. "By being able to jump on them like that after falling behind two runs, we really regained momentum," he said.


Donaldson fell into a rhythm after his rocky first inning, easily setting down Magruder's bats in the second and third innings. "Ian started off rough, but he settled and played a good game," Zolkiewicz said. Meanwhile, Blair's bats were continuing their momentum. A dribbling hit off the bat of Ramsey, misfielded by the Magruder second baseman, scored Pfefferle in the second inning, to improve the score to 6-2. In the third, Blair rallied after giving up two outs, scoring three runs.


After Donaldson left the game in the middle of the fifth inning, Magruder began to make some progress. The Colonels scored two runs on a screaming double down the first base line, to bring the score up 9-4. In the sixth, a deep double into left field and a single gave Magruder five total runs. During this time, Blair's offense fell into a slump, its side retired in both the fourth and fifth inning.

In the sixth inning, Blair's offense came to life a bit, tacking on two more runs. Despite a tense moment in the top of the seventh, in which Magruder was able to load the bases against senior Cullen Morris, Blair won the game 11-5. Coach Zolkiewicz said, in preparation for playoffs next week, Blair needs to play more consistent baseball. "After the game I challenged them to play a full seven inning game, not to let up during any point in the game."



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