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Federal suffocates Valley under avalanche of offense

July 09, 2005|by CHRIS CARTER /Staff Correspondent

It might only be July, but Federal Little League made good use of the snowball effect in a losers' bracket game of the District 1 9-10 Tournament on Friday night.

When all was said and done, Valley Little League was stuck in a snowstorm and Federal had made a family of snowmen.

Federal scored seven runs in the second inning - including five with two outs - and tacked on four in both the fourth and fifth innings to leave Valley out in the cold for a 16-5 five-inning win.

Federal will host Maugansville tonight at 6 in the losers' bracket semifinal.

"Once a couple of guys started getting on base, things just started to snowball for us," Federal coach Charlie Wood said. "We kept hitting and kept gaining confidence."

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Max Ober broke a scoreless tie in the top of the second with a two-run double and the next three Federal hitters reached base on first-pitch swings - including a two-out, two-run single by Josh Barron. Helped by three Valley errors, Federal plated three more runs to take a commanding 7-0 lead.

"(Errors) are just a part of 9-10 baseball," Wood said. "Sometimes you're able to take advantage of them and we did tonight."

Valley inched back in the bottom of the second, sparked by a leadoff single by Kyle Huntzberry. Two walks, a throwing error and a missed tag led to three runs to cut the deficit to 7-3.

Alijah Benson dropped down an RBI bunt single in the fourth and Federal took advantage of three more errors in the fifth to score four runs and increase the lead to 12-3.

Mark Grunberg hit a two-run single, while Zane Schreiber and Ober each had RBI singles in the fifth to seal the win.

Valley picked up one run in both the fourth and fifth innings, but the game was well in hand for Federal. Huntzberry led Valley with two hits.

"The more games you play and the more situations you're in, the better off you'll be in this tournament," said Valley coach John Dinterman, whose team had not played since Tuesday. "We came out flat and played flat."

Federal, which has played three games in the last four days, will try to ride the momentum of three straight wins when it hosts Maugansville, which knocked Federal off 4-1 eight days ago.

"Maugansville is a good, well-rounded team. They can hit, pitch and play the field," Wood said. "We made a couple of errors to help them the last game, so hopefully we can eliminate them and come away with the win."

Ober, Barron and Yacyk each finished with two hits for Federal. Ober drove in three runs, while Barron, Schreiber and Grunberg finished with 2 RBI each.

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