WILLIAMSPORT — Everyone expecting a slugfest between Valley and Conococheague in the winners’ bracket final of the Maryland District 1 9-10 Tournament got a pitchers’ duel instead Wednesday.
Adam Mathias outdueled Maddux Grove as Valley shut out Conococheague 1-0.
“What can you say? It was just an awesome-pitched game by Adam Mathias and great defense by the whole team,” said Valley manager Jeff Parks, whose team didn’t commit an error. “Both teams played great. It was just an awesome Little League game.”
The final score said it all.
“We had 20 runs and 21 hits last night. I never thought we’d be in a 1-0 game tonight,” said Conococheague manager Kevin Walters, whose team beat Hancock 20-7 on Tuesday. “But (Mathias) kept us off-balance. That boy just pitched better than what we could hit.”
Mathias pitched five scoreless innings, allowing five hits (all singles) and a walk while striking out four.
“He pitched the game of his life,” Parks said.
Jimmy Coats then pitched a perfect sixth to seal Valley’s victory.
Grove went the distance for Conococheague, pitching a four-hitter. He had four strikeouts and no walks, and the only run he allowed was unearned.
Valley scored the lone run in the bottom of the third. With one out, Cole Reed reached on an error — the lone error of the game. He went to second on a groundout by Chase Miller, took third on Brendan Kemp’s single to center and scored on Chris Martin’s double off the fence in left-center.
“They just got that one clutch hit that we didn’t,” Walters said.
Martin also stood out defensively, making several dazzling plays at shortstop.
“His defense is unbelievable for a 10-year-old,” Parks said.
“He caught everything, even the ones he wasn’t supposed to catch,” Walters said.
Valley will host the losers’ bracket winner Saturday at 2 p.m. in the championship.
“These kids, I tell you what, a lot of people didn’t think we could beat these teams. But we snuck up on them,” Parks said. “But we still have one more so I’m not getting overly ecstatic.
“(Conococheague) is a great team. I hope we don’t have to face them again. We’re not going to be able to sneak up on them again.”
Conococheague will host either Sharpsburg or Federal in the losers’ bracket final Friday at 6 p.m.
“Now we just have to win a couple more games than what we planned on,” Walters said.