Valley rises to the occasion to win

June 25, 2008|By CONNER GILBERT / Staff Correspondent

CHEWSVILLE -- After building a 5-0 lead through 3 1/2 innings, Valley Little League might have assumed it was on its way to an easy victory.

But when West End Little League stormed back to tie the game in the fourth, Valley regained its composure and fought back to win 10-5 in the first round of the Maryland District 1 9-10 Tournament at Aaron Steiner Field.

"You just never know which team will show up at this age," said Valley manager Frank Bywaters. "Give our guys credit, we battled back."

Valley scored a pair of runs in the top of the first when Jordan Tapley scored on a passed ball and Boo Jordan scored on a wild pitch.


In the third, Tapley drew a two-out walk and came home on Jordan's triple to right field. Jordan scored on an error to give Valley a 4-0 lead.

On the mound, Jordan helped quiet the West End bats, allowing only one hit and striking out seven as he pitched into the fourth inning.

"Boo had a great start," said Bywaters. "He is definitely the team leader this year. He has to come up big for us."

Valley added to its lead in the fourth inning when Austin Jones smacked a home run to left field, giving his team a 5-0 advantage.

"Our hitters were being patient," said Bywaters. "You have to adjust to each umpire's strike zone, and our guys showed good patience."

But West End refused to go away, mounting a comeback in the fourth.

With the bases loaded, Jonathan Tennant scored on a walk and back-to-back infield singles scored Cody Fox and Zach Prather. Dante Harper's two-run single that dropped into shallow left field tied the game at 5-5.

"When the momentum shifts, a lot of teams roll over," Bywaters said. "But we held tough."

Valley responded with a five-run inning of its own in the sixth, aided by six walks, three errors and four wild pitches.

Despite scoring 10 runs, Bywaters sees room for improvement.

"I think we can do a lot better offensively," Bywaters said. "I don't think we got under the ball a lot. Credit to West End's pitchers for keeping us off balance."

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