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Valley has a blast at American

Six homers and a no-hitter highlight opening-round District 1 victory

Six homers and a no-hitter highlight opening-round District 1 victory

July 08, 2009|By ANDREW MASON

Neither the American Little League All-Stars nor their field at Brandenburg Memorial Park could contain Valley on Wednesday evening in the first round of the Maryland District 1 11-12 Tournament.

Josh Miller went 3-for-3 with three of his team's six home runs as Valley beat American 16-1 in a game that was stopped by the mercy rule after 3 1/2 innings.

"We were pretty confident," Miller said. "I just kept my head down and swung hard."

Jacob Barr, Casey Bartholomew and Joey Schwartz also homered for Valley.

"We have a lot of good athletes," Valley manager Tim Hartsock said. "Everyone has the potential to hit home runs. Hopefully we can spread them out as the tournament goes on."

Valley also benefited from stellar pitching as Steve Clapper, Caleb Cardone and Timmy Hartsock combined for a no-hitter with 10 strikeouts. Clapper, the starter, struck out seven of the nine batters he faced -- including the first six -- in his 2 2/3 innings.

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"Nothing fazes (Clapper)," Tim Hartsock said. "We knew nerves wouldn't be a factor with him. That's why he was the first-game starter."

Valley -- the home team by virtue of a coin flip -- took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a two-run homer by Miller. Bartholomew and Miller hit two-run shots and Barr had a three-run blast as Valley took a 10-0 lead in the second. Schwartz and Miller hit solo homers in Valley's six-run third.

Of Valley's 13 hits, 12 were for extra bases. Cardone went 3-for-3 with three doubles.

"The kids were excited," Tim Hartsock said. "Hopefully we can keep the momentum going."

American only had two baserunners in the game, and only put one ball in play. It scored its lone run in the fourth as Elijah Stubbs drew a walk and eventually scored on Valley's only error.

Valley will host Conococheague in a much-anticipated showdown of tourney favorites this evening at 6.

"We're really looking forward to it," Tim Hartsock said. "It should be a well-played game by both teams."

"We think they're the team to beat," Clapper said, "and they think we are."

American will host either Sharpsburg or National in losers'-bracket game Friday at 6.

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