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11-12 tournament: South Mountain takes best shot at Martin, without connecting

July 11, 2012|By KYLE RAIOS | Staff Correspondent
  • South Mountain catcher Logan Saunders tags Valley's Dylan Eyler out while blocking home plate on Wednesday, but it didn't prevent Valley from recording a 12-2 victory in the Maryland District 1 11-12 tournament. Valley faces Clear Spring on Thursday for the losers' bracket championship.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

BOONSBORO — Solid line drives up the middle can hurt.

It can also hurt in the middle, too.

Just ask Valley pitcher Chris Martin, who took one straight in the gut in the top of the fourth.

“That was a nice hit. It was a bullet, and I almost passed out,” Martin said.

Instead, he stayed conscious and put the hurting on South Mountain.

Martin managed to catch the ball to secure the second out of the inning. One batter later, Valley finished off South Mountain with a 12-2 victory on Wednesday, while using the mercy rule to finish off a no-hitter for Martin and move into the losers’ bracket final of the Maryland District 1 11-12 tournament.

Valley travels to battle Clear Spring Thursday at 6 p.m. for a spot in the tournament’s championship round.

“After last night, these kids are really starting to believe in themselves,” Valley manager Danny Barnes said.

It was a rocky start early on for Valley and Martin. Three straight infield errors loaded the bases in the top of the first, before two South Mountain runners scored on a dropped third strike and walk for a 2-0 lead.

From there, though, it was all Valley.

Chase Metz got it going in the first with a leadoff double before scoring on Dylan Eyler’s RBI single to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Valley did most of its damage in the second, exploding for seven runs on eight hits, capped by a grand slam by Austin Moser.

“I got an outside fastball.  I’m not really good at hitting them, but I got a hold of it,” said Moser. “I wasn’t sure it was gonna get over the tall fence. And I hit that car too.”

Valley added four runs in the third, this time highlighted by Martin’s self-supporting three-run shot.

“Chase Metz and I are battling to see who hits the most home-runs and I came out today and hit my fourth,” said Martin.

All in all, Valley totaled 15 hits on its march towards 12 runs.

“We can hit with anybody in the district.” Barnes said.

Martin, Metz and Eyler led the way with three hits each.

While Valley was scoring, Martin was lights out after the first inning.

Martin struck out six while allowing only two walks and hit a batter. South Mountain managed to get one runner past first base after the first inning.

“I felt great on the mound,” Martin said. “ We made a few errors in the first, but we bounced back.”

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