CHEWSVILLE — Valley earned a berth in the Maryland District 1 9-10 Little League Tournament winners’ bracket final with 7-6 win over West End on Tuesday evening.
Valley will host Federal Wednesday at 6. West End will begin its losers’ bracket play by hosting Hancock Wednesday at 6.
A pitchers’ duel in the early innings turned into a scoring fest in the fourth. West End took a 3-0 lead in the top half, but Valley responded in the bottom half to take a 4-3 lead.
“It was a well-played game,” Valley manager Chris Dorsey said. “West End shut us down early on, but we were able to make things happen.”
West End starting pitcher Kaleb Shanholtz played a key role in keeping Valley’s bats quiet early, tossing three scoreless innings before ultimately going the distance and taking a hard loss.
“Kaleb pitched outstanding for us,” said West End manager Mark Brown. “He did a heck of a job and kept us in the game.”
Leading 1-0 at the start of the fourth, West End plated two runs by way of a fielding error to go ahead 3-0.
Valley began its response when Matt Eyler scored on a wild pitch and Connor Dorsey hit an RBI double to trim West End’s lead to 3-2. Dawson Rinehart’s two-run single gave Valley its first lead of the game.
“We put the ball in play and got back in the game” Chris Dorsey said. “We had success getting on base and the hitting became contagious.”
West End tied the contest in the top of the fifth when Bailey Himes’ RBI single scored Shanholtz after he reached on a walk.
Connor Dorsey broke the tie in the bottom half with an RBI single, and Eyler and John Carter scored on the same play thanks to two West End throwing errors.
“We were fortunate to capitalize on some mistakes,” Chris Dorsey said.
Valley nearly saw its 7-4 lead evaporate in the sixth. Kameron Hollinger drove in two runs to make the final inning interesting.
Hollinger was stranded on second when Valley pitcher Ryan Clapper struck out the final batter swinging.
“Hat’s off to Valley. They’re a great team and we hope to see them again,” Brown said.