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Valley gets past National

June 28, 2011|By DAN KAUFFMAN | kauffman@herald-mail.com
  • National's Brock Penn reaches up to make the catch as Valley's Matt Eyler slides safely into second base during Tuesday's Maryland District 1 9-10 Tournament winners' bracket semifinal at Valley.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

CHEWSVILLE — When it comes to Little League — and especially the 9-10 division — the team that makes fewer errors and gives up fewer walks usually is the one celebrating victory.

That was the case again on Tuesday, as host Valley capitalized on nine errors and eight walks allowed by National to pull away late for a 14-8 victory in a Maryland District 1 9-10 Tournament winners’ bracket semifinal.

Valley — which made five errors and walked just two hitters — will travel to Conococheague for tonight’s winners’ bracket final at 6. National will host Federal in a losers’ bracket game tonight at 6.

Valley snapped a 5-5 tie in the top of the fifth, scoring four runs on two hits — a leadoff single by Chase Miller and a two-run single by Jimmy Coats — while taking advantage of four National errors.

“We like to play small ball,” Valley manager Jeff Parks said. “A lot of the innings we scored, we bunted the ball and got on base, and we have a lot of speed. ... Jimmy’s a contact hitter, and I was thinking about bunting him, but I told him to swing, and doggone it, he got a big hit.”

Valley tacked on five more runs in the sixth, doing mor e damage with its bats — smacking six hits in the frame, including a two-run double by Cameron Snyder and an RBI single by Brendan Kemp — while National made two more errors. Adam Mathias drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

Miller worked the first three innings for Valley, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits and two walks. Snyder worked the final three innings to get the win, allowing two runs on three hits without walking a batter.

“The key was we threw strikes,” Parks said. “If you don’t walk batters, you can win this division. (Snyder) kept his composure. They kept waiting for him to wilt, but he didn’t wilt.”

National scored in five of six innings, but never got the one big hit it needed to break open a close game, stranding 11 runners — five in scoring position.

“Both teams hit the ball well,” National manager Ed Penn said. “The difference was the fifth and sixth inning when our defense let us down. ... It wasn’t our best game, that’s for sure, but we still have faith in these kids.”

Kemp finished with three RBI singles for Valley. Coats also had three hits and three RBIs, while Miller and Snyder had two hits each.

Brock Penn had three hits and an RBI for National. Michael Hawbaker had two RBI singles.

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