Baseball maintains early lead to beat Seneca Valley 9 - 1
BLAZER FIELD, March 31 —
Varsity baseball had its first win of the season against Seneca Valley, thanks to both offensive and defensive contributions from the entire bench and the strongest pitching performance the team has seen this season.
The Blazers' lead began in the bottom of the first inning, with junior Nevin Brown stealing second and third and running past the plate to score the first run of the game. Minutes later, senior Ben Hukill batted in two more runners to bring the score to 3 - 0 before the end of Blair's first turn at bat.
More dominant offensive play by Brown and skillful hitting by senior Elliot Meyerson and junior Lucas Babinec allowed Blair to score two more runs in the bottom of the second inning. The Blazers entered the fourth inning with a 5 - 0 lead, during which junior pitcher Pierce Marston allowed his first and only run of the game. Despite this lapse, Marston went on to strike out two consecutive batters and maintain Blair's defensive control. While head coach John MacDonald was concerned that Marston was worn out from throwing too many pitches, MacDonald was pleased with his performance. "Pierce bounced back and pitched well," he said.
To start out the bottom of the fourth inning, both senior Alex Egber and Babinec made it to second and third base on a walk. The Eagles' catcher then failed to catch a pitch and let the ball fly behind him, allowing both Egber and Babinec to score. Soon afterward, in a climactic moment, senior Ben Hukill smashed the ball to hit his second home run of the season, propelling the Blazers to an 8 - 1 lead.
More solid plays in the field and adept hitting kept Blair ahead, as the team ended the game in the top of the seventh inning with a score of 9 - 1. MacDonald and Hukill felt the win was due to both Blair's skill and Seneca Valley's lack of preparation. "They didn't show up ready to play, but we did," said Hukill.
Overall, MacDonald was satisfied with the team's performance, especially compared to that of their previous two games. While the team scored nine runs in each game this season, this was the first in which the Blazers kept a lead and won. MacDonald attributed the previous losses to pitching problems. "When you score nine runs in a baseball game, it should be enough to win," he said.
While much of the team's hitting muscle came from powerhouse players like Hukill and Brown, MacDonald commended the entire bench for executing defensive plays to shut out Seneca Valley. He acknowledged that the performance wasn't perfect, but was happy to see the entire team step up and play a winning game.
To allow catcher Egber to rest before catching in the second game of the day, MacDonald brought in freshman Tray Brown from Junior Varsity to catch for three innings.
Baseball plays its next home game against Wootton on April 10 at 2:30 p.m.
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