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Valley rises to occasion

July 17, 2005|by JACK HILL III

Staff Correspondent

CHEWSVILLE - Valley Little League's 11-12 All-Stars punctuated their perfect run through the Maryland District 1 11-12 Tournament with a seven-run second inning that paved the way for a 7-1 victory over Oakland on Saturday in the championship game.

Valley won all five of its games to earn its first District 1 title since 1981.

"I am thrilled," Valley manager Tim Hartsock said. "It is a great bunch of kids that work hard."

Valley advances to the Maryland 11-12 State Tournament, being hosted by District 2 from July 23-29 in Frederick.

After being retired in order on five pitches in the first inning, Valley was more patient at the plate in the second. Nick Martin and Aaron Schroyer walked to start the inning, before Ben Daniels ripped an RBI double to right to tie the score at 1-1. Luke Toms and Ryan Hartsock followed with walks to force home the go-ahead run.

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Another run came home when Jack Schwartz reached on an error. One out later, Aaron Dinterman walked to force home the fourth run.

Ryne Willard drove in the fifth run with a sacrifice fly to left. Schwartz scored the sixth on a wild pitch. After Martin walked for the second time in the inning, Schroyer drove an RBI double to center to cap the scoring.

Daniels struck out 10 in six innings to get the complete-game win for Valley.

"I always knew that we could win the championship," Daniels said. "I tried to throw as many strikes as I could."

"Defense and pitching were the keys to us winning the championship," Tim Hartsock said. "In the five games that we have played, we have only had one error. That is amazing."

Cory Helbig belted a first-inning, solo home run and finished with three hits for Oakland. Helbig hit a homer in each of his last four games and drove in 12 runs.

Oakland was making its fifth trip from Garrett County to Washington County in the last six days.

"I am real proud of our players," Oakland manager Jason Shreve said. "We showed a lot of heart coming through the losers' bracket. Our players came through in a lot of tough spots when we needed it. We gave it all we had right up to the last out."

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