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Valley All-Stars eliminated

July 27, 2005|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

FREDERICK, Md. -The long ball hurt the Valley All-Stars on Tuesday.

But not as much as the ones that didn't go anywhere.

Valley withstood three Elkton home runs to remain in the game, but couldn't come up with the clutch hits when it needed them the most in an 8-5 loss that eliminated the District 1 representatives from the Maryland State Tournament at Robert B. Staley Stadium.

Valley was unable to score with two runners on in the first and sixth innings which only enhanced Elkton's instant offense as its three homers produced seven runs. It spelled the end of the line for Valley in the double-elimination tournament and for hopes of advancing in the 11- and 12-year-old tournament toward the World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

"Those home runs didn't take us out of the game," said Valley manager Tom Hartsock. "We had two on and couldn't get the hits in the sixth ... that hurt us. We put guys on, but our two-out bats didn't come through today."

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Elkton, which handed Valley both its losses in the tournament, powered to the win behind Kevin Schneiders' three hits and five RBI, all scoring on two home runs. He gave Elkton a 2-1 lead in the first on a mammoth shot to left and sealed the game with a three-run blast to center in the fourth.

Dan Dudzinski also hit a two-run shot in the first to give Elkton an early 4-1 lead.

It all came against Valley starter Aaron Schroyer, who was facing Elkton for the second time in the tournament. Schroyer might have been too efficient for his own good, throwing 19 of his first 23 pitches for strikes and Elkton took advantage of the familiarity to his style.

"In some cases, (he might have thrown too many strikes)," Hartsock said. "That one kid (Schneiders) is an awesome hitter. I thought about walking him the second time up, but first base wasn't open. Looking back, that was a mistake."

Valley tried to take it to Elkton early, but made more noise than damage in the first.

Zane Carver led off with a first-pitch double down the left-field line off Elkton starter Jordan Hutchinson. He took third on a wild pitch before scoring when Robby Hogue reached on an error by the third baseman. Ryne Willard drew a two-out walk, but both runners were stranded on base with just a 1-0 lead.

Valley got to Hutchinson in the third as Carver led off with a walk and Hogue rapped a single to left. They advanced on Ben Daniels' groundout before Nick Martin's RBI grounder and Willard's single plated the runs to cut the deficit to 4-3.

After Elkton regained a two-run lead, Valley countered with a run on Hogue's RBI single in the fourth.

Elkton made Valley's mistakes hurt in the fourth as Zach Biddle and Hutchinson reached on infield errors to set the table for Schneiders' three-run homer.

Valley rallied in the sixth when Jack Schwartz drew a one-out walk and Carver singled off reliever Mike Klevisha. Schneiders came on to shut the door with two strikeouts, but not before uncorking a pair of wild pitches to score Schwartz with the fifth run.

Garver and Hogue each had two of Valley's five hits for the game.

"I'm not mad that we lost, but I'm sad that it's done," Hartsock said. "We had a great run. When you think that 22,000 kids were playing when the state tournament started and we got down to be one of the final 40 or 50 and one of the final four teams, they did a great job."

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