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Carroll County Times
Carroll County High School Sports

Clear Spring baseball shuts down South Carroll for 5-0 win in 1A state quarterfinals

At several points in Friday’s Class 1A state quarterfinal, South Carroll was one big hit from turning the game in its direction. Clayton Boyer and Kannon Shives made sure that hit never came.

The Clear Spring pitchers did their finest work in the most pressure-packed situations, ending most innings with Cavaliers still on the bases. Meanwhile, they got all the run support they’d need two batters into the game as the Washington County-based Blazers posted a 5-0 victory, earning a trip to the state semifinals.

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“I had a senior on the mound, Clayton Boyer, I didn’t think he had his best stuff, but I was more impressed with the way he gutted it,” Clear Spring coach Keith Shives said.

Boyer had a four-run lead before ever throwing a pitch. Two batters into the game, Hutson Trobaugh hit a line drive that cleared the fence in straightaway center field to put the Blazers on the board. A hit batter, an error and a single loaded the bases and Kannon Shives brought two in with a single. Braiden Wade followed with a sacrifice fly and it was 4-0 Blazers.

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“We came off the bus ready to roll,” Coach Shives said. “I thought we came out, we did exactly what we wanted to do. The bats did the talking at first.”

It was a vastly different feeling in the opposite dugout.

“We came out flat and before you know it, it was 4-0,” South Carroll coach Brian Zawacki said. “We weren’t real tight on our defense, gave up probably four or five extra outs over the course of the game, which put more pressure on our pitching, more pressure on our defense. If you take away the first inning, they’re a very good ball club, we might’ve lost anyway, but we put ourselves in a hole and couldn’t get out of it.”

Boyer enjoyed pitching with an early cushion. He went 4 2/3 innings, allowing three hits while striking out seven.

“Coming out in the bottom of the first really does help,” Boyer said. “I just got to work and shut them down. Kannon came in and did the job, too. ... My curveball was working really good, I liked it. I felt hot on the ball.”

But it wasn’t smooth sailing.

South Carroll had runners on base in each of the first five innings but stranded nine in that span, including six in scoring position.

“I feel like I get mad,” Boyer said. “I said last week, I get mad. I don’t want them to score, so get them off my bases.”

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South Carroll’s biggest chance came in the fifth inning. After two quick outs, a walk and a Chris Durkin single had two runners on and Shives made a pitching change. Be brought in Wade, but after only two pitches — a hit batter and a wild pitch — he made another move to bring in Kannon Shives.

Kannon got a strikeout to end the threat.

“We just weren’t putting the bat on the ball,” Zawacki said. “Give credit to those guys, they’re well-coached. The pitching staff is well-coached. We just didn’t get the job done. We were in position to score some runs and it just didn’t happen.”

After a rough first inning, South Carroll starting pitcher Braden Cordrey settled down, putting a string of zeros on the scoreboard until the Blazers added one more unearned run in the sixth.

“He settled down, pitched well, kept us in the game,” Zawacki said of his sophomore.

While it wasn’t the end result Zawacki and the Cavaliers were looking for, there’s a lot positives they can take from their 12-7 season.

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“I’m very proud of these guys,” Zawacki said. “They’re regional champs. They’ve come a long way since Day 1. It’s just unfortunate that’s the result.”


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