Blazers upset Springbrook and star pitcher, 8-3

April 18, 2001, midnight | By Ben Penn | 23 years, 1 month ago

Heading into Blair's game with archrival Springbrook the talk was all about the Blue Devil star pitcher Russell Durfee. Today, Blair's own pitcher Michael Coe sent a message that perhaps the spotlight was on the wrong man. Coe pitched a complete game and the Blazers (5-1) upset the sixth ranked Springbrook team 8-3.

Durfee, who throws a fastball that maxes out at 90 miles per hour, was recognized as the best high school junior in the country. Yet Coe (2-0) outclassed him in what is probabably the best game of his career. "I've never gone past five innings, so that was a big deal for me," said an ecstatic Coe, who was shocked when informed that he had thrown 140 pitches.

Springbrook is considered the top team in Montgomery County and with Durfee on the mound it was unlikely that Blair could pull off the win. "It's not a secret that we're an improved team, but I don't think anybody thought we were going to win against a pitcher like that," said coach John MacDonald.

Coe did need help from the offense and after the first two innings it appeared as if the Blazer's hitting production would be scarce. After failing to reach base in those first two innings the Blair bats came alive in the third. Junior Nick Cope led off the inning with a single up the middle and advanced to second on recently called-up freshman Thomas Foley's opposite field single.

Senior David Mervis walked and the bases were loaded. Sophomore Josh Richardson hit a high chopper that the shortstop failed to field cleanly and all runners were safe including Cope at home. Four year varsity catcher Bennett Shields drove in Foley with a line drive between the shortstop and third baseman. Mervis scored Blair's third run of the inning on a fielder's choice.

In the fourth inning the Blazers picked up right where they left off. They rallied to score three more off of Durfee, but then the big blow came when Shields came to bat with two runners on. Shields rocked a Durfee fastball deep into right-center field. The ball came within in several feet of clearing the fence, but it was enough to score both junior Will Fassett and Richardson and give Blair an 8-1 lead.

"I would be a fool to say that we're a better team than [Springbrook], but today we were," said MacDonald.

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Ben Penn. Ben Penn, a senior in the Communication Arts Program, is thrilled to be taking on the role of managing sports editor for Silver Chips. While holding the position of page editor last year, Ben is proud to say that he was the only person on … More »

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