Wootton out-hits and out-pitches Blair to win 13 - 1
BLAZER FIELD, April 9 —
Varsity baseball (2 - 4) fell to undefeated Wootton (6 - 0), ending the game with a disappointing 13 - 1 loss. The Blazers have developed a group of skilled hitters this season, but they were outmatched by a strong offensive showing on the part of the Patriots.
While Blair has come back from slow starts in the past, their problems in the first innings set the tone for the rest of the game. Wootton's hitting was powerful from the outset and by the third inning Blair was trailing 5 - 0. Head coach John MacDonald realized that this immediate loss of dominance hurt Blair later on. "I thought the game got away from us in the first inning," he said.
At bat, Blair did not fare much better. Wootton pitching kept the Blazers from gaining momentum by allowing only seven hits throughout the game. Despite achieving four hits and loading the bases during the fifth inning, Blair only managed one RBI, a pinch-hit to right field by junior Topher Zuleger-Freeman that batted in senior Ben Hukill.
After their first run, Wootton continued to shut out Blair's most powerful hitters. Up against expert fielding, only senior Alex Egber made it on base in the bottom of the sixth inning, and Wootton struck out three consecutive batters in the bottom of the seventh. MacDonald felt that Blair's loss could be attributed partly to Wootton's commanding defense. "That was a team that made every defensive play," he said, also noting that Wootton did not walk a single batter throughout the game. No Blair player was able to get more than one hit off a Wootton pitcher during the entire game.
Junior pitcher Evan Holliday kept up an uphill struggle against Wootton for the remainder of the game. Wootton scored its second home run in the sixth inning, and consistently sent pitches into the deep outfield. A few fielding blunders and dropped balls also contributed to Wootton's ability to advance on base and score in every inning but the fourth.
Despite the loss, MacDonald felt that the team didn't play particularly badly, but was overcome by overall stronger playing on Wootton's part. Zuleger-Freeman agreed, noting that most teams in the county have the potential to beat any other team in the county, but that Wootton simply bested Blair in this game.
Although this loss wasn't an easy one, MacDonald remains hopeful for Blair's prospects for the rest of the season. According to MacDonald, five Blair players are currently ranked in the top of the county in terms of batting and pitching statistics, including senior pitcher Sammy Denenberg, Hukill, Egber and juniors Lucas Babinec and Nevin Brown. Blair has met a mix of wins and losses thus far this season, but MacDonald hopes that these players will bolster the team with continued success.
Baseball plays its next home game against B-CC on April 13 at 7:00 p.m.
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