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Schwartz's 3 HRs give Valley a victory

July 08, 2010|By BRETT NIEVES/Staff Correspondent

BOONSBORO -- Third time's a charm.

Actually, for Valley slugger Joe Schwartz, the saying is more like, "Three times a charm."

Schwartz blasted three home runs -- none more important than his last one over the fence in left in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift Valley past South Mountain 11-10 on Wednesday in a Maryland District 1 11-12 Little League Tournament winners' bracket quarterfinal.

"I knew it was going over," said Schwartz. "I was looking right down the middle for the first strike and that's where he put it."

Valley will travel to Halfway on Friday at 6 for a winners' bracket semifinal. South Mountain will travel to West End tonight at 6 in a losers' bracket game.

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Valley started Wednesday's game like it finished -- with a home run. Colin Everett started the scoring in the second inning with a solo shot. Valley tallied three more runs in the third on Ramon Breland's three-run homer.

South Mountain trimmed the lead in the fourth on Cory Woodhams' two-run double to make it 4-2. Valley wasted little time answering back as Schwartz hit his first homer of the day -- a three-run blast -- in the bottom of the frame.

Down 7-2, a deflated South Mountain team was given a pulse in the fifth when Matt Crisci belted a grand slam, cutting Valley's lead to one.

South Mountain took the lead with a four-run sixth. Devin Griffith tied the game with an RBI single and gave his team the lead when he scored on a wild pitch. Eric Brabson doubled home two more runs for a 10-7 advantage.

"The kids battled tonight," South Mountain manager Brad Keller said. "They never doubted themselves."

Schwartz's second home run and Everett's two-run single in the bottom of the sixth tied the game at 10.

"(Heck) of a game, it was hard watching (South Mountain) lose, they're a great team," Valley manager Damon Huntzberry said.

Valley relief pitcher Austin Jones struck out the side in the top of the seventh before Schwartz came to the plate and recorded the hat-trick with his third homer.

"After Jones struck out the side, I felt good," said Huntzberry. "Schwartz is just clutch."

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