Valley seniors reach District 1 peak

July 02, 2012|By WILL ROBINSON | Staff Correspondent
  • Maugansville's Tyler Shindle, left, is safe at second base as Valley's Joseph Forti looks on during Monday's Maryland District 1 Senior championship game.
By Colleen McGrath, Staff Photographer

CHEWSVILLE — As the only unbeaten team remaining in the Maryland District 1 Senior Tournament, the Valley all-stars were in the driver’s seat.

Josh Miller made sure they stayed there.

Miller outdueled Maugansville’s Tyler Shindle to lead Valley to a 5-2 victory Monday and a berth in the state tournament.

Miller threw 96 pitches in 5 2/3 innings of work, allowing one earned run while striking out 10.

“You saw two very good high school pitchers in a well-played ballgame by two great teams,” said Valley manager Jeff Parks.

Maugansville’s lone run off of Miller came in the second inning when Michael Sullivan hit an RBI single that plated Jake Clemmer, who entered the game to run for Brandon Haupt.

Shindle lasted longer than Miller — pitching six innings with seven strikeouts — but Valley came through with timely hits.

Bryan Tracey hit a solo homer to right-center in the bottom of the second to tie the game at 1-1. Dylan Durning gave Valley the lead in the bottom of the third with a solo homer of his own.

Tracey added his second RBI with a sacrifice fly to give Valley a 3-1 lead.

“We had good hitting, good pitching, low walks — everything looked good for us today,” Parks said. “This is one of those games where you can go back and say, ‘This was a good ballgame.’”

Valley added to its lead with two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Durning plated Joseph Forti with a single and Stevie Clapper eked out a bunt single to score Kyle Bywaters.

Maugansville had a small rally in the top of the seventh inning when Shindle tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Haupt, cutting the deficit to three runs. However, Clapper earned the game-ending strikeout to preserve the victory — and the championship — for Valley.

“Both pitchers were extremely sharp. I can’t say enough about Tyler coming in and gutting it out like he did,” said Maugansville manager Dan Dopson. “(Valley) got the hits when they needed to and we didn’t. That’s baseball. They’ve got a good program over there.”

After the victory, Parks couldn’t help but think about how far his team and league has come.

“This league was ready to fall apart. We were down to one team. Now we’re up to six,” Parks said. “We just give these boys that don’t make it to PONY League a chance to play, and days like today are the reason we’re here coaching.”

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