Blazers fall to Gaithersburg 6-2
Despite cheers and a defensive rally in the final inning, the varsity baseball team (2-3) lost to the Gaithersburg Trojans (3-2) by a score of 6-2 on Wednesday afternoon. The Blazers scored their only two runs in the first and second inning, remaining scoreless throughout the following six innings. Gaithersburg capitalized on simple fielding errors that cost Blair the victory and led to runs by the Trojans.
Early trouble with fielding by the Blazers resulted in two easy runs by Gaithersburg at the top of the first. However, with sophomore co-captain Neil Gahart's hit into deep right field the Blazers were only down 2-1 at the start of the second.
Gahart continued to play well, catching a popup and throwing it to second basemen and senior co-captain Richard Griner, for a double play. Sophomore David Pilsk's triple sent junior Langston Taylor home, to close the second inning 2-2.
The rest of the game was marked by defensive errors that created offensive opportunities for the Trojans. Two walks by Gahart in the third, coupled with defensive errors by senior catcher Robert Clingman, led to two runs in the third for Gaithersburg. Despite a steal by junior Adam Lott, the third inning was offensively unpromising. Strike outs by senior co-captain Tucker Canary and Gahart, as well as a caught flyball hit by Griner, left the Blazers down 4-2 at the end of the third inning.
Despite a scoreless fourth inning, fielding continued to be troublesome for Blair. Miscommunication in the fifth, and a missed catch by Pilsk at first base in the sixth, allowed the Trojans to take a four point lead. Head coach Eric Zolkiewicz believes the loss was due mostly in part to in-field performance. "We need to play a little smarter. At points we were sloppy in the field," Zolkiewicz said.
Though the game left room for improvement, both Zolkiewicz and Gahart agreed that the team's toughness was a positive. "We played hard with a lot of energy. There were just a few too many mistakes," Zolkiewicz said.
A good string of throws by relief pitcher junior Lowell Ensel in the seventh inning, combined with a bunt catch by Clingman and a tag out at second, closed the game on a positive note. Still the lack of offense generated and the amount of mistakes made on defense were disconcerting to the team. "We need to just be more aware of what's going on at all times,” Gahart said.
As the midway point of the season approaches, Zolkiewicz believes it will be important for the athletes to develop and progress as players. "We need to keep improving. We have to get better every game as we move on," he said.
Editor's note: Langston Taylor is a Silver Chips Online staff writer.
The varsity baseball team will play its next home game on Wednesday, April 11 against Blake at 7:00 pm.
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