APRIL 17, BLAZER STADIUM–
The Blazers were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs last season by Damascus 12-1. Unfortunately, in today's much-anticipated grudge-match of two of the county's top teams, the story was much the same for the Blazers, as they were thoroughly demolished by a score of 13-1 to the undefeated Hornets.
However, the season as a whole has been much more impressive than last year's; the Blazers are off to a solid 6-3 start with key wins against Paint Branch, Richard Montgomery and Watkins Mill.
The Blazers may have been worn-out from their 6-3 win over a formidable Paint Branch Squad held just hours before the Damascus game. "It sucks that we got blown out but we were all tired from the Paint Branch game," said senior co-captain Thomas Foley.
Junior Pitcher Cody Simpson started the game very well, allowing only one baserunner in his first two innings, but gave up four hits and four runs in the third inning, plus another run in his fourth and final inning. In relief, sophomore Tommy Dugan gave up two more runs in the sixth inning with two consecutive HBPs. Senior Ian Scroggs pitched the final inning and was even more unsuccessful, giving up six runs including a three-run triple which nearly left the cavernous park.
According to senior co-captain Sam Boone, the Blazer pitchers didn't get ahead in the count enough and had trouble throwing their breaking balls for strikes.
Blair was just as disappointing from the plate, as they were only able to muster five baserunners, and as in last year's playoff game, they only recorded three hits- all singles. The Blazers offensive ineffectiveness was made quite clear in the second, fourth, sixth and seventh innings, where they were retired in order.
Although the Blazers were struck out only four times, when they hit the ball it was usually hit weakly. In addition, Damascus is not the type of team to make careless defensive mistakes. Foley had the Blazers' first hit in the fifth inning, advanced on junior Chris Madert's single and then scored on Scroggs' single, but it would prove to be the only Blazer run. This lone score was not nearly enough production to play competitive ball with the Hornets, who may now be the favorite to win the county playoffs.
Boone felt that Damascus' quality personnel made it difficult for the Blazers to hit well, but is still confident about his team's chances. "We were playing against the best defense and the best pitcher that we are going to see," he said. "We can stay with these guys and I'd like to see them in the playoffs."
The Blazers' loss left most fans disappointed. Coach John Macdonald feels that "Damascus did a lot better than us in all categories. The final score might not have been indicative of how we played, but it was still a [big defeat]."
The Blazers look to redeem themselves on April 20 at 7:00 p.m. when they go on the road to face the Blake Bengals.
Zach Mellman. Zach Mellman was born on October 18, 1956 (he was held back once or twice). He has lived in Takoma Park, Maryland his entire life. He is currently a senior at Blair enrolled in honors classes. He is also a member of Blair's golf team, … More »