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Valley's number is up in state final

July 21, 2011|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com

BRUNSWICK, Md. — Simply put, Brunswick had Valley’s number.

Two days after thumping Valley 21-3, Brunswick came back and handily won the Maryland Little League 10-11 State Tournament on Thursday with a 14-0 whitewashing of the District 1 champs in 104-degree heat.

Brunswick sent 6-foot-1 pitcher Aaron Fitzwater to the mound, and the right-hander was smooth in fashioning a four-inning no-hitter, throwing just 50 pitches.

The only Valley baserunner was Ryan Dunegan, who walked to lead off the bottom half of the third inning and was left at second base after a sacrifice by Justin Lesher.

By then it was already 8-0 and the writing was on the wall for Valley.

“We had too many mental errors and walks and you can’t win like that,” said manager Danny Barnes. “In the games we won we took advantage of mistakes. Today, (Brunswick) took advantage of ours.”

Valley pitchers walked six, five by starter Chase Maloney, and four of them scored.

But six errors were more costly.

A dropped popup that would have ended the second inning with Brunswick leading 2-0 allowed two more runs to score.

“That error was a big play because we were having two good innings,” said Barnes.

A potential double play grounder was botched in the third inning that helped Brunswick put four more runs up on the way to an 8-0 lead.

“Those two errors led to a lot of runs,” said Barnes. “We’ve made those plays before.”

Brunswick, which pounded out 22 hits in Tuesday’s win, collected five in the fourth inning when it scored six runs, two coming on an error.

At his height, Fitzwater appeared overpowering with his presence on the mound. He struck out four and also had three fielding assists.

Valley did not hit a baseball out of the infield.

Valley was making its first-ever appearance in the 10-11 states and was playing its fifth game in six days. In the end Valley had still picked up three wins on the way to accepting runnerup pins.

“I’m really happy with the kids and their effort,” said Barnes.

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