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Valley comes out swinging

July 11, 2008|By CONNER GILBERT / Staff Correspondent

CHEWSVILLE -- Facing an early deficit, the Valley All-Stars came out with guns blazing.

Valley fought back to defeat Hancock 14-4 in five innings in a Maryland District 1 11-12 Tournament losers' bracket game at Aaron Steiner Field.

"We came out swinging the bats well tonight," said Valley manager Tim Hartsock. "We haven't been doing that for the last few games."

Hancock took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Tristan Douglas scored on a throwing error and Chad Sipe hit an RBI single.

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But Valley answered in the bottom half of the inning when Austin Stone clubbed a two-run homer to right. Brandon Butrick's infield hit scored another run, and Dylan Durning hit a two-run single to center to put Valley up 5-2.

"We got hits from the top and the bottom of the order," said Hartsock.

Valley came back for more in the second. Stone scored on a bases-loaded walk, Nik Steiner came home on an error and Durning added another two-run single to give Valley a 9-2 lead.

In the third, Adam Peters came off the bench to hit a three-run homer, giving Valley a 12-2 lead.

"We have 13 kids who are pretty equal," said Hartsock. "Every time we bring one of them off the bench, they get hits."

Hancock picked up a pair of runs on two Valley errors in the fourth to make it 12-4.

But Valley ended the game on the 10-run rule in the fifth when Stone scored on an error and Bryan Tracey advanced home on a bases-loaded walk.

Valley was helped by its pitching, which held Hancock in check for most of the game. Kyle Huntzberry pitched four innings, allowing four runs while striking out seven.

"Kyle did a great job on the mound," Hartsock said. "He kept Hancock out of the game. Our pitching has us right where we want to be."

Hartsock said he is impressed with the way his team handles adversity.

"They don't get too high or too low. They are on a nice even keel, whether we're down a couple runs or up a couple runs," Hartsock said. "That's what I really like about this team."

Valley will play at Halfway today at 6 p.m.

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