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Valley blanks Maugansville

July 12, 2005|by CHRIS CARTER /Staff Correspondent

CHEWSVILLE - Valley Little League's Aaron Schroyer said it would be tough to top his performance in Saturday's District 1 11-12 All-Star game.

That didn't keep him from going out and trying.

The 12-year-old right-hander fired a one-hitter and capped the game with a three-run home run in the fourth inning Monday, clinching a 10-0 mercy rule victory over Maugansville in a winners' bracket game at Aaron Steiner Field.

Schroyer played the hero for Valley on Saturday, too, hitting a game-winning three-run home run in the sixth inning of a 4-2 victory over Hancock.

After giving up a double to Matt Braithwaite in the first inning, Schroyer gained form and retired 11 of the last 12 Maugansville hitters, including the final eight in a row.

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"I settled down and started taking my time," Schroyer said. "I just tried to throw strikes."

Schroyer struck out three, walked one and needed just 50 pitches to complete the game - helped by his defense, which did not commit an error and had just one passed ball.

"We really put a lot of work into playing good defense," Valley coach Tim Hartsock said. "We spend almost all of practice working on our fielding. It goes a long way to make the pitchers feel confident.

"(Catcher) Jack Schwartz does a great job behind the plate to keep the balls in front of him."

In contrast, Maugansville struggled in the field, with four errors and several passed balls - three of which allowed Valley runners to score from third base in the first two innings.

Once Valley had the lead, the confidence that was built on defense spilled over into the batter's box. Schwartz hit an RBI single in the second, Aaron Dinterman followed with a two-run double in the third and Schroyer's walk-off home run in the fourth was the topper.

"I was hoping I would hit a home run and end it," said Schroyer, who sent the pitch sailing over the fence in center field. He narrowly missed a solo home run in his previous at-bat that hooked foul. "I was early so I moved up in the box and got a good pitch."

Schroyer finished with two hits and three RBI.

Valley plays in the winners' bracket final today at 6 p.m. at American in hopes of securing a spot in the tournament finals.

Maugansville drops into the losers' bracket and will travel to play the winner of today's National-Halfway matchup on Wednesday.

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