Senior sendoff ends in 9-0 rout
The Blazers fell scoreless in front of a home crowd for the second time this season after being overpowered by the undefeated Sherwood Warriors's explosive offense 9-0 on Thursday night.
Although the game was Blair's senior recognition night, most of the attention was poised on Sherwood, who entered the game with a 16-0 record. "When you play an undefeated team this late in the season, its always high profile," says manager John MacDonald. "It's a good opportunity to play a good team in the spotlight, to show if we can compete," he says, but all the Blazers had to show was one of their poorest offensive outings all year.
Facing Sherwood pitcher Drew Hoffmaster (8-0), the Blazers managed only four hits on the night and were unable to convert the few offensive highlights into runs. Sherwood's powerful offense compounded the situation, repeatedly finding holes in the Blazer outfield.
Starting pitcher Matt Ludington began the game promisingly with a clean, scoreless first inning, allowing only one baserunner on walk. But, the Blazers offense was similarly cold in the first, producing an identical bottom half of the inning.
The Warriors found their footing in the second inning and began testing the Blazer defense. Shortstop Carter Willson drilled the ball into deep centerfield for a triple, followed by second baseman John Wagner's walk. With two men on base and one out, centerfielder Ted Fletcher popped a sacrifice fly into centerfield, allowing Willson to tag up and score the first run of the game. Wagner scored two batters later on a grounder by centerfielder Tom Gilchrist that was fumbled by shortstop Chris Kidwell. Sherwood was finally shut down two batters later when centerfielder Jason Meer came up with a tremendous save, catching a fly ball with the bases loaded and two outs.
The Blazers also looked good offensively early when first baseman Adam Kopp blasted a double into right field just short of the fence. But, Kopp was left stranded by three successive outs.
The Warriors tacked on another quick run in the third. First baseman Steve Smith led off with a triple into deep centerfield, and was batted in with a sacrifice fly by third baseman Alejandro Acevado.
The fourth was the runaway inning for the Warriors. Ludington's pitching fatigue was evident, and he was relieved by Carlos Mesa after allowing a walk and a two-run triple with an error that grazed the centerfield wall. Mesa would allow two additional runs, including a thunderous home run by Acevado to the corner of right field before the inning ended at 7-0.
The Blazers best offensive opportunity also came in the fourth inning, but the Blazers were unable to capitalize. Rightfielder Gabe Sartor led off with a single, and a Sherwood fielding miscommunication would award Kopp the same result. The hits ended there as leftfielder Gabe Fonte's fly ball to right field was caught, and Kopp, who failed to tag up was thrown out on a short hit by third baseman Keith Ingram. With men on the corners, Mesa struck out.
The Warriors tacked on an additional run in the fifth inning, but the Blazer's dodged another bullet when Meer came up with a save with the bases loaded.
After both teams were held scoreless in the sixth inning, reliever Sammy Denenberg, who was recently pulled up from the JV squad to help fill holes in the Blazer lineup, pitched his first career varsity game.
Denenberg allowed no hits and three walks, one of which earned a run, but also struck out two batters. His play in the game was "an opportunity to gain varsity experience," says MacDonald, for a player that "he expects to play on varsity as a sophomore and assume one of the starting pitching roles."
Elsi Wu. Elsi Wu is really a middle-aged, obese Italian man. A perky CAP junior who lives for ESPN, Superbowl Sunday, Poms, and food, she watches Friends and Oprah RELIGIOUSLY along with any Redskins/Maryland games (you know, normal activities for the average obese Italian man). Instead of … More »