Swarmin' Hornets defeat baseball in 4A West Regional Tournament
MAY 13, DAMASCUS-
On this Friday the 13th first-round playoff game, luck was just not in the cards for the Blazers. Blair and Damascus seemed evenly matched through the top of the third inning, when the score was tied at 2-2. Yet for the rest of the game, Blair lost momentum and spirit, failing to score anymore runs and surrendering their defense to the power-hitting Hornets. The final score, 11-2, was evidence not only of how dominant Damascus played both in the field and at bat, but also of how unfocused the Blazers became as the score became more and more lopsided.
Senior pitcher Cody Simpson, who pitched for the entire game, did well despite surrendering extra-bases to Damascus hitters late in the game. Simpson struck out five, walked only three and hit two batters. With few walks to work with, Damascus was forced to earn most of their runs the hard way, yet earn them they did.
The play of senior second baseman Ben Nakamura was also a positive point for Blair this game. With a run and an RBI, Nakamura contributed to both Blazer runs. Nakamura was driven into home in the second by junior Sam Morris and he drove in junior Tommy Dugan in the third with a grounder to short.
Damascus was on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the first inning. A single, a long double into left field and then a sacrifice fly brought one Hornet into home. Another double to left scored one more.
Blair came back in the second and third to tie it up. However, in bottom of the third, a single through to left scored a walked Damascus runner, and they were on top again. The Damascus offense in the bottom of the fourth also did some damage, as a bobble and overthrow from Morris at shortstop to sophomore Adam Kopp at first scored two runners.
At this point, with the score at 5-2, Blair had all but lost their offensive power, and yielded a three-up, three-down inning. In the bottom of the fifth, a Damascus hitter added insult to injury by slamming a two-run homer over the center field fence.
The worst inning of all for Blair came in the bottom of the sixth, when a single, a hit batter and a walked batter loaded the bases. A well-hit double into right-center scored all three runners, and a grounder through to left right after scored another.
The Blazers, going into the seventh, needed nine runs to tie, but found a comeback impossible. Damascus now advances to the second round of the playoffs, where they will face Whitman.
Blair ended its season with this game, finishing with an 11-10 record. Despite the looming graduation of star pitcher Simpson and of third baseman and power-hitter Chris Madert, among others, the outlook for Blair next year is good. With two sophomores who started many games this season (shortstop Dylan Rebois and first baseman/pitcher Kopp) and a junior captain in Dugan this year, the Blazers will enter next season with an experienced and talented squad.
Ellie Blalock. Ellie is a SENIOR in the CAP program at Blair. She enjoys such activities as traveling, being able to say "water" in six languages and having heart-to-heart chats with eccentric politicians. If you're in need of a laugh, please ask Ellie about her driving record...you … More »