Comeback Kids: Valley stages late rally to win area championship on a walk-off

Published 11:50 pm Thursday, April 11, 2024

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The Valley Rams had their backs against the wall throughout the entirety of Thursday’s doubleheader against Beauregard. In the end, Valley came up with the big hits and walked it off in game two to sweep the Hornets and win the area championship. 

Game two: Valley – 3 Beauregard – 2

It all came down to the bottom of the seventh inning for the Rams. Valley trailed 2-0 heading into the inning and had been struggling at the plate. With two outs, Bryson Monteith hit a single to keep the game alive. Then, Matthew Mcdonald drew a walk on a 3-2 count to keep the two-out rally going. Jackson Sanders came up to the plate and ripped a triple into left field to tie the game at two. 

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Senior CJ Chambley came to the plate as cool as a cucumber, worked a 2-0 count, saw a fastball and belted a single back up the middle to give the Rams the walk-off win. 

“Just another baseball game. Just another AB,” Chambley said about his mindset during the final at-bat. “Not making the moment too big [and] taking it one pitch at a time. Once I got up 2-0 in the count, I knew the fastball was coming. Tried to throw my hands at it and hit it back up the middle.” 

The Rams faced their fair share of adversity in the final few innings, but they never blinked. It was a cold, wet night and the players and coaching staff knew they had to sweep Beauregard on Thursday after falling to Beauregard earlier in the week. The team rallied to win back-to-back area championships when it seemed unlikely several times during game two. 

“I’m so proud of these guys,” Valley coach Mike Meadows said. “We went down to their place Tuesday night [and] played pretty good, we just didn’t hit well. They never lost confidence. The bus ride home, they were quiet. You could tell they had something on their minds. Got here today, they were so locked in. They were ready.” 

Chambley got the start on the mound and kept the Rams in the game. Chambley allowed just four hits and one earned run while striking out 10 batters in 6 ⅔ innings on the mound. 

“It’s huge for me,” Chambley said about winning back-to-back area championships. “All the credit goes to God. All the credit goes to my teammates and coaches. They push me every day. It’s big. Glad to be home for the first round.” 

Chambley and Sanders have been the two biggest bats for Valley this season, along with leading on the mound. However, it was the fight from some of the supporting cast that helped to set up the late win. 

Carter Green came in to get the final out in the top of the seventh inning after Beauregard managed three singles to add a run and make it 2-0. 

Monteith and Mcdonald each finished with a hit apiece, but Monteith’s single and Mcdonald’s walk in the final half inning were two of the bigger plays on Thursday. 

Game one: Valley – 5 Beauregard – 2

The Rams used a dominant start from Jackson Sanders and a hot start on the offensive end to beat Beauregard 5-2 in game one and make the second half of the doubleheader the area championship.

The Hornets got on the board early as two walks and a ground out led to a run in the top of the first inning, a rare occurrence with Sanders on the mound.

Sanders was rock solid from there on out as he allowed just one hit, three walks and struck out 17 batters in seven innings on the mound.

Valley rallied back in the bottom of the first inning and took the game over. Mason Yarbrough got it started for the Rams as he drove in Bryson Monteith with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at one. Ty Monteith capped off the inning with a single to score two and give Valley a 3-1 lead.

Bryson Monteith helped the Rams add a much-needed insurance run in the bottom of the second with an RBI single. CJ Chambley drew a bases-loaded walk to give Valley a 5-1 lead. 

Bryson and Ty Monteith along with Jackson Sanders led the way for the Rams with two hits apiece. 

The wins on Thursday pushed Valley’s record to 19-4 on the season. Valley closes out the regular season on Monday on the road against Handley. The Rams will host a three-game playoff series later in the week and look to make a deep run in 5A. 

“We got get better at the plate,” Meadows said about making a run in the playoffs. 

“I feel like we’re throwing a lot of strikes, just have to swing it a little better,” Chambley added.