CHEWSVILLE — Valley collected seven extra-base hits — including three home runs — en route to a 12-9 victory over South Mountain in the Maryland District 1 Senior Tournament losers’ bracket final.
Valley jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. After South Mountain tied it in the second, Valley kept manufacturing runs to close the game out.
“We’re a tough team to beat after we get an early lead,” Valley manager Rob Condo said. “The kids are a bunch of fighters and they don’t like to lose.”
Ryan Bolton gave Valley the lead for good in the third inning with a solo shot that gave his team a 5-4 advantage. Anthony Morton also hit a solo homer for Valley, while Quintin Zimmerman went deep in the fifth with a two-run dinger.
Zimmerman’s blast in the fifth highlighted a pivotal inning for Valley.
After South Mountain scored two runs in the top of the fifth to cut its deficit to 8-6, Valley answered in the bottom half to take a six-run lead. Brian Tracey scored on a throwing error and Adam Peters singled home John Galvin before Zimmerman belted his two-out homer.
“Before the game I told the kids it’s important to have two-out hitting and scoring,” Condo said. “You always get three strikes and three outs, if you make them all count, you’ll come out on top.”
Gunnar Whipp had a strong outing on the mound for South Mountain, despite taking the loss. He finished with 12 strikeouts.
“(Whipp) has been lights out,” South Mountain manager Steve Johnson said.” I know he wants to continue his career, and has the potential to go pretty far.”
South Mountain trailed most of the game, but did its best to stay within reach.
“They never gave up and fought to the end and wouldn’t throw in the towel,” Johnson said. “I’m proud of these guys, I’ve had a lot of fun with this team this year. But I’m glad for Valley, they’re good guys.”
Whipp hit a solo home run in the sixth inning to cut the deficit to five runs. South Mountain scored two more runs in the seventh but grounded out to the shortstop to end the game.
Valley will play at Maugansville on Thursday evening at 5:30 in the championship round.
“South Mountain is a classy club with good players and coaches, but that game is over and we’re full steam ahead towards Maugansville,” Condo said.