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Bears Blue Clinches Playoff Spot With Win Over Octorara

The regular season for the Lancaster County Midget Baseball League is gradually winding down ahead of the LNP Tournament. With two games left before the playoffs, Bears Blue only needed a single win to clinch a spot in the postseason. They succeeded in a big way.

The second-to-last game saw Bears Blue host Octorara on Wednesday, July 18. They got off to a hot start in the first inning, scoring five runs. Aidan Masters led off and reached second on an error. Hunter Murry and Michael Baker loaded the bases with a walk and a single, respectively, with Jace Bock hitting Masters home for the first run. Hunter Stewart then brought Baker and courtesy runner Westin Kolaric in on another single, and Anthony Russo did the same with Bock and Stewart on the next at-bat.

Bears Blue got another run in the second after Murry was hit by a pitch and was replaced again by Kolaric, who stole second and eventually came home on an RBI from Bock. Russo would later score in the third on an RBI single from Murry.

Meanwhile, Cole Patrick was an ace on the mound in his first appearance of the season at pitcher for Bears Blue. He held Octorara scoreless, giving up just 4 hits and a walk on the day and striking out 6 batters. Octorara was only able to get a single runner in scoring position across six innings.

Eventually, Bears Blue loaded the bases again in the bottom of the sixth with a Kyle Welch singleand walks from Kolaric and Tyler Souders. Jake

Black then nailed a double to the fence, putting the team up 10-0 and ending the game via the mercy rule.

The double from Black to close things out gave him a game-high 3 RBIs. Bock, Stewart and Russo each had 2, while Murry added another. Kolaric led all players with 3 runs. Nine different players had hits for Bears Blue, while eight different players scored at least one run.

Bobby Bright started the game at pitcher for Octorara, lasting through just one inning. He allowed 5 hits, 5 runs and a walk in that time. Corey Hodorivick took over for the rest of the game, yielding 4 hits, 5 runs and 6 walks, also picking up 3 strikeouts. Octorara’s four hits on offense were split between Hodorivick, Dalton Keller, Jude Unitis and Justin Brey.

The team was scheduled to play Lancaster in the final game of the regular season on Monday, July 23, which was postponed tentatively to Wednesday, July 25, due to continued inclement weather. Bears Blue is currently ranked eighth in the league with a record of 11-6, which would result in them facing Lancaster at home on Friday, July 27, in the qualifying round for the LNP Tournament. Should they win, their next game will be at Clipper Magazine Stadium in Lancaster on Monday, July 30, or Tuesday, July 31, weather pending.

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