Unrivaled support fuels Valley teams in state baseball tournament
Published 10:30 am Thursday, June 29, 2023
Both Valley all-star teams have been in Headland for the past week competing in the Dixie Youth Baseball state tournament.
The 12U and 10U all-star teams for Valley went into the state tournament as one seeds after winning both of their respective regions.
Valley’s 12U team got eliminated from the state tournament on Sunday after losing to Hartford’s 12U team.
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The 10U team for Valley found themselves in the loser’s bracket on Monday and had to win out if they wanted a chance to win the state tournament.
Valley ended up winning on Monday and then had to play Hartford on Tuesday to force another game.
Valley had lost to Hartford earlier in the tournament, but this time Valley beat Hartford by one run in a nine inning game.
Valley would have to beat Ashford and Fayette County to win the tournament, but unfortunately Valley would lose to Ashford by two runs and were eliminated from the tournament.
The 10U team finished third in the state tournament. Luckily for Valley, most of the kids on the team are young and could be back on next year’s team.
Mark Hudmon is the Athletic Manager for Valley Parks and Recreation. Hudmon said that the support for both of Valley’s teams was unrivaled.
“I will tell you right now that we had more fans than anybody,” Hudmon said. “Our 10 year old people supported our 12’s, our 12’s supported our 10’s. When you’ve got that kind of comradery going there, that gives you big hopes for your teams next year.”
The 10U team has several nine year olds making up the roster. Hudmon believes that those kids will develop and make the team even better next year.
“They gone grow a lot,” Hudmon. “They’re gonna get stronger with another year.”
The 10U team for Valley was very fundamentally sound. Hudmon said that the team played good defense.
Valley did not just have one pitcher for the 10U team that could get outs. The team had several pitchers that could consistently get outs.
Hudmon said that towards the end of the tournament Valley was running out of available pitchers due to the pitch count limitations.
“If we would have had to play one more we’d have just had to put people on the mound that had never pitched really,” Hudmon said. “You can only throw 75 pitches a day.”
The athletes also had different rest periods that made it to where some of Valley’s pitchers were unavailable.
The most exciting part about the success of Valley’s youth sports is what it could mean for the high school teams later on.
“It’s kind of like we’re a feeder program to them,” Hudmon said. “It’s a good program actually for the Valley High School coaches to be kinda scouting them out, seeing what they got coming up.”