CHEWSVILLE — Valley overcame an early seven-run deficit Monday to defeat Clear Spring 20-12 in the Maryland District 1 10-11 Tournament winners’ bracket final.
Valley’s Chase Molony came in as a reliever in the second inning and was the nebula that rose above the darkness of the defense to secure the victory.
“I was kind of nervous because this was good team we played,” Molony said. “I was worried how I would keep my composure, but I think I did a good job. I’m proud of myself.”
Molony entered the game with two outs in the second inning and Valley down 9-2. He pitched 4 1/3 innngs — including two hitless innings — and gave up only three runs while scattering four hits and striking out two.
“My team has a lot of great baseball players and that’s what won us the game,” Molony said.
“He pitched a great game,” Valley manager Danny Barnes said. “He came in and looked like a first starter. He’s a great kid with a great attitude.”
Valley began its uphill climb in the home side of the second, scoring six runs. Three came in on two wild pitches, one scored on an error and Austin Moser drew a bases-loaded walk before Gavin Shubert singled Moser home to close the gap to 9-8.
Walks and errors were Clear Spring’s Achilles heel.
“When you give up walks and errors, it puts you in a bad spot,” said Clear Spring manager Rob Embly. “But our team never gave up and fought to the end.”
Valley outdid itself in the fourth inning, taking its first lead of the game with a nine-run outpouring. Brett Baile, Ryan Dugan and Moser each had two-run doubles. Two more runs scored on a throwing error, and a sacrifice fly by Shubert plated the final run.
“They’re just awesome kids. They never gave up and came through when it mattered,” Barnes said.
Chase Reed hit a grand slam in a six-run second inning that gave Clear Spring the lead. Zach Greenlee and Zach Hill each had RBI singles in the third.
Hill had the only hit over the final three innings for Clear Spring with a solo home run in the sixth.
Valley will host Friday’s championship round game at 6 p.m. Clear Spring will host Thursday’s losers’ bracket final against Halfway, with the winner needing to beat Valley twice for the title.