When Jay Godlove was suddenly thrust into the role of acting manager for Mountain Valley’s Indians Little League baseball team this week, he took over with a great deal of confidence, knowing he had a group of players equally as confident.
Godlove is substituting for manager Wes Routzahn, who was on vacation in South Carolina this week with his family.
“This is a very close-knit group of kids,” Godlove said. “All of our players can contribute. That is our strength.”
That confidence and strength has allowed the Indians to earn a championship berth in a District 2 Little League Baseball event.
The Indians defeated the Cardinals, from Montgomery County Lower, 15-6, on Wednesday in the District 2 Tournament of Champions at Doub’s Meadow Park.
The Indians face Frederick National’s Lions, a 14-4 winner over Montgomery County-Upper, at 6 p.m. today at Robert B. Staley Stadium.
MV opened TOC play on Tuesday with a 13-1 win over Brunswick’s Cubs in the quarterfinals. With that same level of confidence, the Indians pounded out 13 hits against two Cardinals pitchers.
Jason Lynch, batting second in the order on Wednesday, went 4-for-4, all on singles, with two RBIs. His pitch of choice is a fastball, but he didn’t see a whole lot of those on Wednesday.
“He was able to adapt to their pitches,” Godlove said. “He did a really nice job for us.”
Jake Godlove had three hits with a double and an RBI. Luke Stevens and David Knox had back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the third inning. Stevens’ shot, over the fence in left-center field, drove in two runs. Knox followed with a solo blast over the fence in right field. Stevens also had a double in the first.
“We’ve got strength all through our lineup,” Godlove said.
The Indians batted around in the first (14 batters) for a 9-0 lead. MV went on to score a single run in the second, four runs in the third and one in the fourth.
Knox pitched a complete-game victory for the Indians with 12 hits and two strikeouts.
Danny Avillo had three hits with a double for Montgomery County Lower. Jadon Bumbaugh and Calvin Tamulonis each had two hits with a double.