CHEWSVILLE — West End’s 9-10 All-Stars might forget what it’s like to practice after this week.
West End has played four games in as many days — winning the last three, including Friday night’s 10-7 victory over Valley in the Maryland District 1 9-10 Little League Tournament losers’ bracket final.
West End will travel to face undefeated Federal tonight at 6 in the championship round. West End must win to force a final game Monday night. Federal can win the title tonight.
“We won today, so I’ll worry about tomorrow when we get there,” West End manager Mark Brown said. “But we definitely need to win it.”
West End earned its spot against Federal by avenging an earlier loss to Valley, coming through with hits at favorable times while its pitching held Valley down enough to stave off a late rally.
Valley was behind 10-4 entering the bottom of the sixth, but scored three runs to make the last inning interesting.
Nate Walker doubled home Ryan Jones, then scored on Wyatt Roof’s groundout for Valley’s first two runs of the inning. Bryce Keller scored on Donny Borum’s sacrifice fly before West End made a pitching change, turning to Dylan Moats — who shut the door on Valley.
“Moats came in and shut them down for us at the end,” Brown said. “My hat’s off to all the pitchers. This was Chuck Kelley’s first start pitching and he kept us in it, and Journey Reed came in and did a good job, too.”
West End first grabbed the lead in the second inning, when it blew up for seven runs on five hits. Bailey Himes, D.J. Eby, Moats and Kelley all had a hit and Kameron Hollinger highlighted the frame with a two-run double.
“We got some big hits with runners in scoring position,” said Brown. “Valley’s a good team. I said we wanted to see them again, and we came through this time.”
Valley grabbed 1-0 lead in the first when Keller stole home,
“The kids looked at this game like a game they could win since they already beat them once,” Valley manager Chris Dorsey said. “West End didn’t quit. They played 18 outs of baseball and we didn’t.”