UPPER MERION — Valley Forge’s league-leading offense didn’t need to do much Thursday night.

The Generals batters just had to stand in the box and take advantage of JP Mascaro’s pitching staff’s inability to find the strike zone.

Valley Forge worked six walks, got hit by five pitches and scored eight runs in the fourth and fifth innings of a 10-3 Greater Norristown American Legion Baseball League win over the Maulers at Upper Merion Area High School.

“You just have to know that he’s thrown a lot of balls before you,” Luke Hutchinson, who went 0-for-0 with three walks and two RBIs, said. “You know you have to take. It’s just about being smart. You have to pick a spot — especially when it’s 3-1, 3-2 even — you just have to pick a spot and make sure he throws you one.

“Sometimes the high pitches will look nice, but as long as you stay in your zone you’ll be good. That’s what you have to look for as a hitter.”

Mike Hutchinson and Jack Kelly gave the Generals a 2-1 lead with RBI singles in the bottom of the third inning before the free passes added on to the advantage.

The bases were loaded with no outs after two walks and a hit batter in the fourth and Luke Hutchinson’s walk extended the lead to 3-1. Josh Dubost came on in relief and a double play and a strikeout ended the threat.

In the fifth, Dubost had the same control problems as Christopher Douglass had in the fourth. The inning started with two singles and a walk before tallying a strikeout. After that, he hit a batter, walked a batter and hit three consecutive batters, bringing in five runs.

“It was the third game in three nights,” JP Mascaro coach Lucas Denczi said. “We’ve been short on numbers all week. I think the boys were tired a little bit, but they stayed up through the whole game. I was proud of them that way. We stayed out of the ticky tacky stuff and we’ve got four (games) this weekend, so no harm no foul, I guess, and we’ll get back at it this weekend.”

Daniel Carr came on in relief. Runs scored on a wild pitch and a Kelly sacrifice fly to make it 10-1.

While the offense was moving one base at a time, Valley Forge starter Ben Eyer was cruising along. He allowed three runs on eight hits over seven innings. He struck out three batters to no walks.

Conor Smith was a bright spot for the Haulers. He went 3-for-4 with a triple, two RBIs and one run scored.

“He killed it for school and he’s kept it rolling for us,” Denczi said. “He’s been one of our more consistent guys, especially defensively he locks it down. Then he brings the bat almost every night. It’s been nice.”

The win brings Valley Forge (7-5) within a half-game of first-place Mascaro (7-4).

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