Offense scarce on both teams
Blair's baseball team defeated Quince Orchard High School (4-2) with a score of 3-2 on an unseasonably warm evening tonight to improve Blair's record to 6-2. The Blazers are in the midst of a nine-game stretch in which they face what Coach John Macdonald judges to be the toughest teams in the county.
Pitching won the game for Blair tonight, though both teams struggled with fielding errors. Senior starting pitcher Liam Bowen, who has an ERA of 1.75, struck out five and walked three in his third win of the year. Last year, Bowen set the school record for wins in a season with six.
Quince Orchard got out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning on a hit by pitch, a fielder's choice, an error and a sacrifice fly. Blair did not respond until senior second baseman Thomas Kaufman scored on a wild pitch in the fourth inning. Kaufman, who has a batting average of .333, is the only player on the team to record an official at bat but no strikeouts. Despite a winning record, the Blazers have struck out more than their opponents.
The Cougars countered immediately in the top of the fifth by scoring leadoff right fielder Matt Collins on a single, two stolen bases and a throwing error by junior catcher Max Eckert. Eckert then led off the bottom of the inning with a single past Quince Orchard's second baseman to extend his hitting streak to seven games. He has a batting average of .647 and is the one major exception to the Blair's offensive slump, which through eight games has posted a team batting average of .276. Senior Will Fassett batted in Eckert and reached first base on an error. He stole second, was advanced with a beautiful bunt single by junior Josh Richardson and was batted in by Kaufman.
Fassett pitched the sixth inning and senior Nick Cope let up one of just two Quince Orchard hits in the seventh inning to record his second save in as many opportunities. Cope has allowed no earned runs in four innings pitched for a perfect 0.00 ERA.
Other than Blair's three runs, the Blazers struggled at the plate, hitting safely in only three at-bats. Blair has won by the ten-run mercy rule in three of their past six games, but Macdonald attributes the majority of the Blazers' run production to walks and to errors by Blair's opponents. The Blazers have walked 50 times in eight games, and all five runs in tonight's game were unearned.
Last year Blair went 15-4 and suffered their worst loss and only shutout to Quince Orchard with a score of 9-0. Macdonald was pleased to "avenge" that loss, but is not satisfied with the current level of play. "We returned six starters," said Macdonald. "We are just underacheiving offensively."
Blair's next game is this Thursday, April 18 at Magruder High School at 3:30 p.m.
Ben Meiselman. Ben Meiselman is a senior in the Communication Arts Program at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. He enjoys playing sports, especially baseball. Ben is seventeen years old, born May 16, 1985. He has played the trumpet since fourth grade when he began … More »