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Hancock scores in bunches to win 9-10 title

July 03, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

HANCOCK - The Valley All-Stars might want to avoid the highway ramp that leads from Interstate 70 into Hancock.

In two trips to the west during the District 1 9-10 Tournament, Valley left disappointed.

Hancock erupted for 18 hits and posted a tournament-best run total Wednesday night as it rolled past Valley 19-8 for its first district title in league history.

"This was big. This was huge," said Hancock coach David Faith. "We're a very well-rounded team. We hit the ball well, play good defense and pitch (well). We haven't put the whole thing together until now."

Hancock relied on dominant pitching in a 6-0 no-hit win against Valley on Saturday. After three days of rest, the bats carried the team to victory.

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Justin Barnard had four hits, Bradley Younker had three and Jesse Wolford, Zach Clark and Jared Cubbage each added two to lead Hancock. Barnard drove in three runs, while Younker, Jared Hose, Trent Rider and Erik Smith each knocked in two.

"I don't think I've ever seen a team put the ball in play and do it so well," said Valley coach Frank Bywaters. "Our pitchers did everything we asked - they threw strikes - but Hancock just put the bat on the ball and didn't hit it right at us."

Hancock batted around in the second, third and fourth innings.

Hose hit a pinch-hit, two-run single to start a five-run second inning and eight consecutive batters reached base during a six-run third to give Hancock an 11-1 lead.

Valley scored five runs in the bottom of the third behind singles from Tyler Olson and reserves Ryan Bywaters and Cole Huntzberry to cut the gap to 11-6.

But Hancock was back on the assault in the top of the fourth, ripping off nine hits to score eight runs for a 19-6 advantage.

"I'm glad we waited on our pitches," Faith said. "Our kids like hard pitching, so we expected (Valley) to mix it up. I had a feeling we could do this, we just had to be patient."

Valley scored twice in the fourth, but the game still ended with the 10-run rule.

"In the middle of some of those big innings, I think some of the kids got their heads down," Frank Bywaters said. "We probably should have made some of the plays that we didn't make."

Olson led Valley with three hits and Ryan Bywaters added two. Austin Jones and Huntzberry each drove in two runs.

Hancock heads to the state tournament for the first time in league history. The states begin July 12 in Hughesville, Md.

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