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Federal ousts Valley 9-10s

June 30, 2009|By CONNER GILBERT/Staff Correspondent

After scoring 11 runs on Monday, the Federal Little League offense started slowly against Valley on Tuesday.

But Federal's bats awoke in the third inning, propelling the team to an 11-8 win over Valley at Kenneth E. Dudley Field in a losers' bracket game of the Maryland District 1 9-10 Tournament.

"Valley had good pitching and defense," said Federal manager Charlie Wood. "But at this level, you've got to put the ball in play to make things happen and we did."

After Federal's hitters went down in order in the top of the first, Valley scored on a single, wild pitch and sacrifice fly to take a 3-0 lead.

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Federal tied the game in the second. Brady Munson's single to left drove in a pair and Nathan Kline drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 3-3.

Valley reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the inning when Dylan Eyler lined a 3-2 pitch over the 190-foot sign in center field to make it 4-3.

Federal responded with big hits in the third. After Max Conrad scored on a passed ball and Michael Brady came home on an infield error, Thomas Cremins hit a double down the left-field line to bring in Devin Corley.

After two singles loaded the bases, Malik Carey cleared them with a three-run triple to right field. Carey scored on an error to give Federal a 10-4 advantage.

"The kids are aggressive," said Wood. "From the top to the bottom of the lineup, they can make things happen."

Valley did not back down, rallying for four runs with two outs in the bottom of the third. Eyler doubled off the fence in center field to score one run. Two more runs came in on an outfield error, which preceded Austin Moser's run-scoring single to center which brought Valley within 10-8.

Then Conrad took the mound for Federal and pitched three perfect innings to shut down the Valley batters.

"For a 9-year-old, Max is well ahead of his game," said Wood. "He has good command of his fastball and keeps hitters off balance with his changeup."

Conrad struck out six of the nine hitters he faced.

Federal picked up an insurance run in the top of the sixth when Carey scored on a fielder's choice to make it 11-8.

Wood said he knows that his team will face stiff competition as they move on in the tournament, but he believes that Federal can hold its own.

"We're kind of an underdog team," he said. "There are some powerhouses in front of us, but we won't back down from anybody. We're going to come to play the game."

Federal will travel to face Halfway today in a losers' bracket game at 6 pm.

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