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Southpaw Miller dominant as Valley wins District 1 Senior title

July 03, 2013|By JACK HILL III | Staff Correspondent
  • Valley's T.J. Kuhn (12) is safe at first as Maugansville first baseman Zach Zawatski (32) corrals the late throw in the fourth inning of Wednesday's Maryland District 1 Senior Tournament championship game.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

MAUGANSVILLE — Josh Miller struck out 14 and Valley survived a hard-fought pitcher’s duel against Maugansville on Wednesday night to squeeze out a 1-0 victory in the Maryland District I Senior Tournament championship game.

It was similar to the two previous meetings between the teams in the tournament. Valley beat Maugansville 2-1 in the opening game of the tournament. On Monday, Maugansville scratched out a 2-1 win in the first game of the championship round, forcing Wednesday’s finale.

Valley advances to the Maryland state tournament in Denton, beginning July 20.

The only run scored in the bottom of the fourth inning. With one out, Kyle Bywaters singled to left and took second on a wild pitch. Chris Hutzell rapped a single to left to drive in Bywaters.

Miller, a southpaw, allowed just two hits over 6 1/3 innings to pick up the victory.

“A lot of my hard work paid off,” Miller said. “I was keeping confidence in my pitches knowing that I have got control of the game. I was able to get ahead in the count and get a lot of first-pitch strikes. I was using my curveball a lot. It is my main pitch. When it is on, it is on.”

Maugansville put up a serious threat in the seventh. Zach Zawatski led off with a single to center and moved to third when Eric Medina reached on a throwing error. When Miller struck out the next batter, he reached the pitch count limit after 97 tosses.

Bywaters came on in relief and struck out the first batter he faced, but walked Patrick O’Connor to load the bases. Bywaters struck out the next batter to clinch the title for Valley and earn the save.

“I expected Josh to pitch a good game,” Valley manager Jeff Parks said. “He has been pitching since he has been 7 years old. He had real good stuff. His fastball wasn’t working real well, but his curveball was working real good. Kyle pitched under a lot of pressure and he did a good job.”

Maugansville pitcher Matt Shipley hurled a complete game, giving up just one run and one walk in six innings.

“Matt did a good job,” Maugansville manager Sergio Galvan said. “He pitched a great game. It was a close game. The kids played well. Defensively, we played awesome. We made some great plays. That was a good job by Valley. I wish them good luck when they try to bring the state title down to Hagerstown.”

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