Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Big Bats combined with lively arms carry Luray to the brink of their 2ND VBL Lineweaver Cup: Wranglers 10-5

By: Scoop Carter
ATV-60 Correspondant

COVINGTON- Luray spent the first six innings lining the ball all over Casey Field but found themselves clinging to a 1 run lead (4-3) after leaving 10 runners on base. Ryan Schimpf (LSU- 4 of 5)) took care of the outcome with just one swing when the lefty crushed a 3-run home run to right field for his fourth hit of the contest. The lead quickly jumped to 9-3 and Luray coasted to a 10-5 victory and a commanding 2-0 lead in the best 3 of 5 Championship series.

Five Wranglers accounted for 15 of the 16 hits that Mike Bocock's team managed to put up on the score board at Casey Field. Luray finished the game with an amazing total of 25 base runners for the night after 6 walks were issued to go with the 16 hits, two hit batters and Jeff Jefferson reaching after a passed ball following a strike out. The total would of been one higher if not for the catch of the season in the top of the second inning made by Derrick Washington.

Jefferson launched a fly ball to the deepest part of the park and the shot actually cleared the fence before Washington crashed into and pulled the ball back inside the park. Covington broke their hit total into double figures as well but simply could not recover from Schimpf's 7TH inning blast.

Drew Rucinski won for the fifth time this summer but needed a little help from Jordan Yost (West Virginia) to escape the sixth inning. Yost entered the game in the bottom of the sixth after two Lumberjacks reached base with just one out. Leading just 4-3 at the time and with the tying run in scoring position, Yost retired Covington with a fly out and strike out to earn a MLB "Held".

Luray opened the seventh inning with a walk to Austin Markel and a single to Jeff Jefferson (3 of 5). Jeremy Cruz (3 of 3) bunted the runners over to second and third before Steve Stropp (3 of 5) singled both Wranglers home. One out later C.J Laurielo ( 2 of 4) singled to put two runners on. Schimpf then joined a trio of Wranglers with 9 Home Runs on the season (Markel, Jefferson and McClain) but Ryan did his in less than 30 games.

The game did have a scary moment in the top of the eighth inning when Alex Foltz (James Madison U.) was hit in the helmet with a pitch. Foltz was at the plate with the bases full and tried to stay upright but eventually ended up on the ground. Foltz tried to push his way from help and stay in the game (he did actually make it to the bag despite multiple folks trying to check on him) but he was taken to the bench where he received medical treatment from a trio of EMT's.

Yost gave way to Matt Boylan (Brown) to start the ninth inning after the power pitcher/first baseman tossed 2.2 innings and recorded four strike outs.

"My arm felt really good tonight from the pen all the way until I left the game," Yost said. "When I came in I knew it was only going to be for two or three innings and that allowed me to give it everything I had. Coach Hamilton (pitching coach-Jimmy) does a great job of letting me know when to get loose and what I might be asked to do and then it is just a matter of keeping an eye on the flow of the game," Yost added.

Covington showed they aren't ready to surrender just yet as the Lumberjacks rallied to score two runs in the bottom of the ninth on a Home Run off the bat of Marcus Niddifer with Ty Rivers on base. The 2-run homer trimmed the Luray lead to 10-5 but Boylan was able to close the door on the home team.

"The series is not over yet and we have our three best arms lined up for games 3,4 & 5," Jacks skipper Andy Challot said. "The idea of a three game winning streak is not out of the question for us."

Game 3 will have Ohio State's Alex Wimmers (L) facing off with Noah Garza (New Mexico State) of Covington. Game time is set for 7:30 at Bulldog Field...

Tonight's box score, again:


1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

LUR

0

3

1

0

0

0

5

1

0

10

16

3

COV

1

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

2

5

10

0

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