CHEWSVILLE — Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13.
Valley had no fear of that Wednesday night as it picked up 13 hits en route to a 13-1 smothering of Clear Spring in a Maryland District 1 11-12 Tournament opening-round game that was shortened to five innings due to the 10-run rule.
Valley used the long ball early and often in the win. Five home runs by three players — Drew Mathias, Ryan Kolich and Duke Zimmerman — paced Valley to victory.
“We have a lot of good hitters on this team,” Valley manager Mike Mathias said. “We don’t like to live and die by the home run ball. We like to get base hits, too.”
Valley held a 5-0 lead heading into the fourth inning when starting pitcher Jared Durning was relieved. Durning pitched two hitless innings and only allowed two base runners over his three innings of work. He gave up just two hits while striking out seven and walking one.
“(Durning) is our top pitcher,” Mathias said. “We had a lead and I hate to look ahead, but sometimes you have to, which is why I pulled him. He did a heck of a job tonight.”
Kolich and Ryan Scharenbroch each pitched an inning of relief to complement Durning and Valley’s errorless defense.
“We have a deep pitching staff, we work at it every practice,” Mike Mathias said. “Throwing strikes and good defense is a win-win situation.”
Scharenbroch picked up an RBI double in the first inning to open the scoring. Kolich launched his first homer — a two-run shot — to give Valley a 3-0 lead.
Graham Morrison reached on an error before Drew Mathias hit his first bomb to put Valley ahead by five.
“We made some mistakes that cost us runs,” Clear Spring manager Joe Aaron said. “Valley’s a good hitting ballclub — especially the long ball. They hit very well.”
Scharenbroch singled home Morrison in the fourth, then Kolich hit his second two-run homer to give Valley a commanding 8-1 lead.
Zimmerman went yard on the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the fifth to plate two before Drew Mathias hit a three-run homer to end the game.
Conner Michael had the lone RBI for Clear Spring in the fourth inning.
Valley will host West End tonight at 6 while Clear Spring hosts an undetermined opponent Friday night.