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Clear Spring edges Valley in high-scoring game

July 01, 2008|By CONNER GILBERT / Staff Correspondent

CHEWSVILLE - After a quick 1-2-3 first inning for both teams, the Clear Spring and Valley All-Stars might have expected a low-scoring affair.

But the offenses exploded, plating a combined 25 runs in the ensuing five innings.

In the end, it was Clear Spring with the upper hand, defeating Valley 13-12 in the Maryland District 1 Junior Tournament losers' bracket contest at Jack L. Hockensmith Field.

The game was called after the sixth inning due to darkness.

"My kids put out an outstanding effort," said Clear Spring manager Larry Kees. "They've been fighting hard the whole tournament."

Clear Spring will play at South Mountain today at 5:30 p.m.

Clear Spring took a 4-0 lead in the top of the second inning, scoring three runs on errors and another on a wild pitch.

In the third, Clear Spring scored two more runs on Chad Lowry's RBI infield single and a wild pitch to go up 6-1.

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"The team is not used to slower pitching like we faced tonight," said Kees. "But they were very patient and stayed on top of the ball."

After Valley got a run on an error in the third, Clear Spring answered back in the fourth on Zach Jordan's RBI groundout for a 7-2 lead.

Valley cut the lead to 7-5 with three runs in the bottom of the fourth, before Clear Spring loaded the bases and scored runs on three walks and a wild pitch to increase its lead to 11-5 in the fifth.

But Valley responded with seven runs in the bottom half. Two runs scored on errors, followed by two more coming home on wild pitches. Cody Betson slapped a two-run single to left center, and Josh Lee scored on an error to give Valley its first lead, 12-11.

Clear Spring regained the lead in the sixth. Christian Kehr's RBI single to left tied the game. Kehr stole second and moved to third on a passed ball before scoring on an infield error to give Clear Spring a 13-12 lead.

Kehr pitched the bottom of the sixth, retiring three of the four Valley batters he faced to clinch the victory for Clear Spring.

"The pitching has been outstanding," said Kees. "Christian did a good job relieving."

In a game that included 10 total errors and a late Valley comeback, Kees was pleased with how his team handled the adversity.

"This is a great group of kids, and they're used to playing together," said Kees. "They've had a great season."

Kees doesn't think his team's season will end anytime soon.

"I look for them to go the distance," he said. "They don't have one certain strength - they are a good all-around team."

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