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Valley's Miller shuts out Federal

June 29, 2006|by TYLER KAHL / Staff Correspondent

Some like it hot. Valley's Josh Miller likes it wet.

Despite two rain-soaked innings, the 9-year-old Miller sliced his way through the Federal lineup, pitching a one-hit shutout to lead Valley to a 6-0 victory in a Maryland District 1 9-10 All-Star Tournament winners' bracket game.

Miller worked efficiently, throwing 58 pitches, including 40 for strikes, while facing only three batters over the minimum.

"I planned to keep (Miller) in for three innings, but as the game went on, he just kept gaining confidence," said Valley manager Tim Hartsock.

Valley took a 6-0 lead in the top of the second, capitalizing on four walks and three Federal errors. Timmy Hartsock and J.R. Rinehart contributed with RBI singles.

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"These are only 9- and 10-year-olds and, once bad things start happening, they kind of build up," said Federal manager Charlie Wood.

Federal appeared to answer in the bottom of the second as Josh Barron crushed a high fastball to the gap in right-center field for a triple. A throwing error on the play allowed Barron to score what looked to be Federal's first run. Valley, though, quickly appealed the call and Barron was called out for missing second base.

"It definitely would have helped, but it would've only made the game 6-1," said Wood. "I give (Miller) credit. We just didn't hit."

Miller pitched solidly the rest of the way. He allowed only five Federal baserunners for the game.

In the third inning, Federal threatened with two outs and runners on first and second. But Valley catcher Dylan Durning recovered a passed ball and made a solid throw to retire the runner attempting to advance to third.

Federal mounted a charge in the fourth, but Miller was there to slam the door, stranding runners on second and third with one of his four strikeouts.

Josh Barron struck out three in three innings of scoreless relief for Federal.

Valley will look to continue its winning streak today when it hosts American, while Federal will look to get back on track at Clear Spring.

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