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Valley edges Cherokee Athletics

Pitching and solid defense were on display in the first game of the 2003 Babe Ruth Southeast Regional Tournament.

The Alabama State Champions from Valley broke through against the South Carolina Cherokee Athletics in the top of the sixth inning to break a scoreless tie.

Valley added an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning and held on for a 2-0 win.

T.J. Yates started the game on the mound for Valley and got the win, just missing a complete game. Yates went 6 1/3 innings without allowing a run. He surrendered six hits and four walks. Yates also struck out eight.

Chase Earl moved from shortstop to the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning and went 2/3 of an inning to get the save. He allowed one walk and struck out the final batter of the game.

Double plays and a tremendous catch by Valley catcher Cody Coker were the highlights in the tournament-opener.

One of the critical points of the game was a 1-2-3 double play by Valley to get out of a bases-loaded jam with first baseman Patrick Lindsey stretching out to get the final out of the inning.

Coker scored the first run of the game in the top of the sixth after reaching on a fielder's choice. He scored on an RBI-double by Stephen Bishop.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Steven Kamerlian reached on an one-out single and South Carolina threatened to tie the score at 1-1.

Valley got out of the jam recording the final out on a play at the plate.

Valley added a run in the top of the seventh when Justin Johnson started the inning with a lead-off single. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Yates.

Lindsey followed Yates and flew out to center field for the second out of the inning.

Reiko Stephens came through in the clutch for Valley with an RBI-single to plate Johnson.

Yates left the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning. South Carolina had runners on first and second with one out.

Earl went to the mound and gave up a sacrifice bunt to put runners on second and third with two outs.

Brett Irvin was the next South Carolina batter and drew a walk to load the bases for Steven Kamerlain.

Kamerlain was unable to come through with Earl getting a strikeout to end the game.

Valley returns to the diamond at 1 p.m. today when they face Opp.

South Carolina's next game is not until Sunday night when they face Opp at 7:30 p.m.