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Sharpsburg forces decisive game

July 02, 2011|By WILL ROBINSON | Staff Correspondent

CHEWSVILLE — Sharpsburg’s 9-10 All-Stars earned their sixth win in six days Saturday, defeating Valley 9-6 to earn a chance to play for the Maryland District 1 Tournament title on Tuesday.

Sharpsburg — which edged Conococheague 8-7 for the losers’ bracket title Friday — rode the arm of Peyton Mason on Saturday. Mason had a no-hitter in the fifth inning, when he was pulled after reaching the 75-pitch limit. He had eight strikeouts and four walks.

“I felt pretty good about my performance today,” Mason said. “I just threw strikes and my defense was behind me.”

“This is what we needed him to do, though I had no idea he had a no-hitter going,” said Sharpsburg manager Steve Mason. “We could have traded some of those walks for strikeouts, but he did a good job.”

After two scoreless innings by Peyton Mason and Valley pitcher Chris Martin, Sharpsburg opened the scoring in the third when two straight bases-loaded walks plated Max Crist and Dalton Shank. Aaron Hartle then hit a fly ball that bounced off  the center fielder’s glove, leading to a three-run error and giving Sharpsburg a 5-0 lead.

Sharpsburg added three more runs in the fourth on an RBI double by T.J. Kalagher and a two-run double by Ben Burgan for an 8-0 lead.

Valley, the winners’ bracket champ, found life in the bottom of the fifth. Brendon Kemp singled off reliever Josh DeRocher to break up the no-hitter and push Sean Simpson — who walked — to third. Martin followed with a three-run homer, and Adam Mathias then homered to cut the deficit to 8-4.

“When they changed pitchers, we made things happen,” said Valley manager Jeff Parks. “We hung in there. We aren’t quitters.”

Valley scored two more runs in the bottom of the sixth, but by then it was too little too late.

“We didn’t get fazed when (Valley) started scoring,” Steve Mason said. “I figured our boys would pay defense. That’s what we’ve done all season.”

Tuesday’s championship game will be a rematch between the two teams, held at Sharpsburg at 6 p.m.

“(Mason) pitched a heck of a game today,” said Parks. “He threw hard strikes and kept our hitters off-balance. We’ll see these guys again Tuesday.”

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