Cougars win on last pitch

April 10, 2003, midnight | By Ben Meiselman | 17 years, 9 months ago

Despite strong pitching, Blazers let up winning runs in last inning


The baseball team lost 5-4 to Quince Orchard High School (QO). This was its second loss in a row by just one run, evening Blair's record at 3-3. The Blazers led from the top of the first until the bottom of the seventh.
Blair pitching and defense proved itself yet again today in six innings of great baseball. Junior starter Grant Staking was far from dominant, but he made quality pitches and had sound fielders behind him.

First baseman Kent Anderson relieved Staking after a Cougar singled in the sixth inning as Blair led 4-3. Anderson finished the inning with three more batters and retired the first two in the seventh inning before giving up a single through the hole at second. Junior Ian Scroggs, who started at third base, relieved Anderson and gave up a triple to Cougar Chris Maloney, which tied the score.

Senior shortstop Josh Richardson then pitched, blowing two heaters past QO's dazed centerfielder before allowing a weak hit infield single to Scroggs, who was filling in for Richardson at shortstop. Maloney scored and won the game for QO.

Aside from a late rally that put Blair over B-CC High School 8-5 on Mar 27, the team has had difficulty in clutch situations with the game on the line, according to Coach John Macdonald. "Someone has got to make that last play, that last hit, that last pitch," he said.

The Blazers also had late-game struggles versus Sherwood on Apr 3. Junior starter Jonas Wilson, who has 14 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.80, held the Warriors to one unearned run through five innings, and junior second baseman Sam Boone pitched two innings of perfect relief, holding Sherwood to one run.

Richardson led off the seventh with a hard-hit double to left-centerfield, but the Blazers could not drive him in.
Blair scored all four of its runs against QO in the first inning, assisted by fudgy Cougar defense. QO starter Matt Berninger beaned a batter, walked another and had a wild pitch, and Cougar fielders had several throwing errors.

Perhaps the biggest question entering the season was whether the team, which has five returning seniors and no returning pitchers, would be able to compensate for its relative inexperience on varsity. Anderson, Boone and Scroggs, all juniors, have filled out the infield admirably around Richardson and catcher Max Eckert.

Lately, Blair has been relatively weak offensively aside from a 33-1 rout of Kennedy on Apr 2. All season, the Blazers have been too reliant on opponents' mistakes. Cougar hitters put the ball in play in every single at-bat except one strikeout in the seventh, contrasting the hesitant Blazers. After the first inning, Blair struck out eight times and walked four, leaving QO's defense largely untested.

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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 »

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