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Valley on fringe of last 5A state poll

The GREATER VALLEY AREA —  The Alabama Sports Writers Association released a new set of state baseball and softball rankings on Wednesday night.

In the final baseball poll of the season, Valley High School remained on the outside looking in. The Rams were nominated to be ranked in Class 5A for the third week in a row, but didn’t crack the top 10.

They had a strong case.

Valley (17-11) has won nine of its past 10 games, including all three since the last set of rankings was published. It swept Area 5 rival Beauregard on Thursday in a doubleheader, 8-3 and 10-1, to capture the area title for a second consecutive year.

The Rams carried that momentum into Saturday’s contest at 7A Smiths Station, which they upended, 14-3. Smiths Station is ranked ninth in the 7A poll.

Valley will host Sylacauga, ranked ninth in 5A, on Friday in the first round of the state playoffs.

The Rams were the only local team — baseball or softball —  to garner recognition in the polls.