BRUNSWICK, Md. — The best thing the Valley 10-11 All-Stars can do is forget what happened on Tuesday and focus on their must-win situation Wednesday.
Valley was thumped 21-3 by Brunswick in the Maryland State tournament, dropping into the losers’ bracket final. Valley will face West Salisbury — a 5-2 winner over Waldorf — Wednesday night at 5.
“We’ll be fine, we just need to come out and play as a team,” said Valley manager Danny Barnes. “We weren’t 100 percent tonight.”
As the visiting team, Brunswick jumped on Valley for a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a walk and two hits against starter Dylan Eyler. Brunswick made it 5-0 in the second on three walks and a pair of doubles.
Valley scored an unearned run thanks to four errors in the bottom of the second to cut the lead to 5-1.
After Brunswick scored two more in the third for a 7-1 lead, Valley managed its first hit against Tyler Ebberts — a double by Austin Moser that scored Mark Moholt, who had walked and moved to second on a wild pitch.
Down 9-2 heading into the last of the fifth, Valley added another run when Jacob Bertrand walked and eventually scored on a single by Eyler.
Brunswick center fielder Robbie Cruz kept Valley from a bigger inning, making a running catch that prevented further scoring.
Then Brunswick sent 16 batters to the plate in the sixth and scored 12 runs. Most of the damage came on home runs from Brittany Walker, Aaron Fitzwater and Ebberts.
Valley used eight pitchers, as Barnes kept the pitch counts at or under 20 for several of the relievers.
Except for the third inning, Brunswick was flawless defensively to aid its offensive explosion of 22 hits. Ebberts went 5-for-5, scored four runs and drove in five.
“They played good defense and we knew they were good defensively,” said Barnes. “We saw nothing but slow pitches and that threw us off.”
Valley beat Elkton 16-0 and Waldorf 15-11 in its first two games of the tournament, and will need to return to form Wednesday to get another shot at Brunswick in the championship round, scheduled for Thursday and Friday if needed.