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Eyler's control comes up big for Valley

June 30, 2010|By TIM KOELBLE

CHEWSVILLE -- Dylan Eyler mowed down Sharpsburg batters through three perfect innings while his Valley teammates took control in a key matchup in the Maryland District 1 Little League 9-10 Tournament on Tuesday.

Valley grabbed a 6-0 lead and then put the finishing touches on late on the way to an 11-1 victory at Aaron Steiner Field to set up a battle tonight at home against Clear Spring in the winners' bracket final.

Sharpsburg will host Maugansville in an elimination game tonight. Both games are at 6.

Eyler struck out four in the first three innings with control over both corners of the plate. He also induced three ground balls he turned in to 1-3 outs.

"(Dylan) gives us leadership," said manager Mike Mathias. "He pitched a heck of a game, the kind of game we needed from him. He had control inside, outside."

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The left-hander did not break until he walked Dalton Shank leading off the fourth inning. Kelton Brown forced Shank out on a grounder, but he eventually scored when Ben Burgan slapped an opposite-field single to left.

Eyler showed signs of tiring in the fifth when he walked the first two batters and reached the 65-pitch limit. He gave way to Mark Moholt.

Eyler moved to first base and fielded a smash by Ryan Nolan for an unassisted out, then wheeled and fired a strike to catcher Brendan Kemp to tag out Colton Bare at home and snuff out any thoughts of a Sharpsburg rally.

"My fastball was working and was best on the outside corner," said the 10-year-old Eyler. "That was a routine play at first."

Sharpsburg had trouble fielding the ball, guilty of eight errors which led to six of Valley's first seven runs being unearned.

Valley's four-run sixth inning was highlighted by Gavin Shubert's two-run home run to left field and a two-run single by Chase Metz.

Shubert had two hits and three RBIs as Valley finished with 10 hits. Austin Moser also had two hits.

"Sharpsburg is a good team and we came in here tonight looking for a real battle," said Mathias. "We didn't necessarily have big bats through the whole game, but we showed we have a pretty good defense."

Sharpsburg, which opened the tournament with a 21-2 rout of South Mountain, hopes to get back on track tonight.

"In the first game against South Mountain, we made every play and tonight we didn't make any," said manager Ben Gay. "Errors hurt the confidence of a pitcher. You throw strikes and expect to get an out. But we still have a chance."

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