Brockway Season Ended by Redbank Valley in Opening Round of D9 Class A Baseball Playoffs

OAK RIDGE, Pa. (D9Sports) – Bryan Layton threw a one-hitter, and Sam Heeter and Grayson Harman combined for five hits, six RBIs and three runs scored to lead Redbank Valley to a 10-0, five-inning win over Brockway in the opening round of the District 9 Class A baseball playoffs Tuesday afternoon at the Oak Ridge Field.

Layton faced just three batters over the minimum walking two and striking out 10.

“Bryan pretty much had his fastball working, a lot of strikes,” Redbank Valley manager Craig Hibell said. “I don’t think he had a walk until the fourth or fifth inning. It was big for him. We knew he was our best strike thrower, our most consistent guy across the plate. We knew we wanted to go with him just so we could keep our defense active. Obviously, you don’t want to have walks. Especially on this field. A walk on this field can easily turn into a two-run home run.”

Heeter and Harman, the No. 7 and No. 8 batters in the Bulldogs lineup, both had big games.

Heeter was 3-for-3 with a two-run home run, two singles, four RBIs and a run scored out of the No. 8 hole.

“Whenever you can get three homers out of your No. 8 hitter in a season, you have to be happy,” Hibell said.

Harman was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI singles, two stolen bases and two runs scored.

“Grayson was actually batting cleanup for us in the middle of the season,” Hibell said. “Now he’s batting seventh, and it’s nice because you can get RBIs out of the bottom of your lineup and turn it around to the leaders on your team, the Nick Shoemaker, the Connor Shoemaker.”

Layton and Harman talked about their performances.

Redbank Valley wasted little time taking the lead scoring two runs despite just one hit in the first two innings.

The Bulldogs scored a run in the first without a hit, as Nick Shoemaker drew a leadoff walk, stole second and went to third on a groundout to second by Connor Shoemaker. He then scored when Adam Kunselman hit a ball to left field that was dropped by the leftfielder, Tony Isabella, allowing Kunselman to go to second. Kunselman got credit for a sacrifice fly and an RBI.

In the second, a walk, a fielder’s choice and a two-out single by Heeter that scored Harman made it 2-0.

Redbank added three runs in the fourth on a single to center by Harman and a two-run home run by Heeter that cleared the centerfield fence.

The Bulldogs then won the game with five runs without recording an out thanks to three walks and three hits as well as a fielder’s choice.

Devin Schimp had an RBI single to drive losing pitcher Corey Carr from the game, and reliever Mike Martino walked the first two batters he faced – both with the bases loaded – to drive in two more runs before Harman and Heeter fittingly ended the game with back-to-back run-producing singles.

“Our guys have great adjustments from plate appearance to plate appearance,” Hibell said. “Changing from aggressive to patient from at bat to at bat. It’s nice when you have a lineup of five seniors who can spearhead that. Then our sophomores and freshmen can follow up behind it. We were able to get walks whenever we needed them. We were able to put the ball in play whenever we had guys on base in scoring position. Obviously, it worked out for us.”

Carr went four-plus innings allowing nine runs on just five hits. He walked four with three of them coming around to score and the other one being erased on a fielder’s choice with the player who hit the fielder’s choice scoring. He struck out four.

Martino allowed one run on two hits and two walks without recording an out in the fifth.

Carr had Brockway’s lone hit, a single leading off the second but was quickly erased on a double play when Seth Shugarts popped up a bunt to Layton.

The Rovers, the 11th seed, had three other base runners with Alex Lindemuth reaching on an error in the third and Shugarts and Braden Martini drawing walks in the fifth.

Redbank Valley is now 12-6 and will play at third-seeded DuBois Central Catholic at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Brockway finished the year 5-12.

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