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April 18, 2009

Blazers withstands Springbrook rally

by Katie Sint, Online Managing Editor
BLAZER FIELD, Apr. 17-

The varsity baseball team faced a tough double-header on Friday and narrowly edged past the Springbrook Blue Devils in their second game of the night. After falling to the Wooton Patriots in extra innings during the first game of the night, the Blazers (7-5) hung on to defeat the Blue Devils, 15-12.

After gaining a huge 9-1 lead in the third inning, the Blazers lost momentum and allowed the Blue Devils to catch up and take an 11-10 lead at the bottom of the sixth. In the end, the Blazer offense proved to be the saving grace of the team as hitters knocked out five more runs in the final inning, cementing the Blazer victory.

Although pleased with the win, head coach John MacDonald was disappointed with the loss of momentum during the sixth inning. "We can't play with a nonchalant attitude. We need everyone to contribute," he said.

The Blazers looked to widen a large divide in the sixth inning, but to no avail. Big plays from the Blue Devils allowed them to take the lead, 11-10, at the bottom of the sixth. Trailing by one point, the Blazers looked to stage a final comeback in the final inning. Senior Josh Gordon, sophomore Lucas Babinec, junior Alex Egber and junior Sammy Denenberg batted in a total of five runs for the Blazers in the top of the inning.

The Blair defense held up strong in the bottom of the seventh, allowing only one run from the Springbrook offense. Babinec closed the game and secured the Blazer victory in the seventh inning, striking out the final Blue Devil hitters. "I knew that I just needed to throw strikes," Babinec said.

The Blazers started off the game strong, scoring five runs in the second inning alone. Heavy hitter Babinec chalked up three RBI with a smash to the outfield early in the second. A hit by Egber and a sacrifice fly from Denenberg brought in two more runs for the Blazers. Smart plays from seniors Brady Ettinger and pinch runner Greg Friedman gave the Blazers a nine point lead at the top of third. The Blazers looked to shut out the Blue Devils, but defensive slip-ups resulted in Springbrook scoring one run during the time.

With an eight point lead under their belt, MacDonald emptied the bench in the fourth inning, looking to secure an early victory. Faced against slow and unpredictable pitches from Springbrook, the Blazer offense was thrown off their game and scored no runs. Despite the efforts of senior pitcher Giulian Garruba and junior catcher Ben Hukill, the Springbrook offense took off in the fourth, bringing in a total of seven runs and closing the point gap, 9-7. "We took our foot off the gas pedal," Hukill said. "We need to work on our pitching and defense."

The team was happy with the close victory but recognized the need to keep up momentum throughout the game. "We didn't come with that fire," Ettinger said. Despite the win, Babinec knows there is room for improvement. "We need to play a much better game," he said.

The Blazer's next home game is on Thurs. against Walter Johnson at 7.



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