Sunday, August 3, 2008

Every 5TH Day with Greg Maddux & 10 Minutes w/Bill Turner & Company

When I left off last night I mentioned that I enough quotes come from talking to Luray owner Bill Turner, skipper Mike Bocock and recruiting coordinator Gerald "Buck" Harman that I wanted to make it a post of its own and now I will do just that while watching my guy Greg Maddux battle the San Francisco Giants (4:05 PM).


I was hoping to get a thought or two from the Championship bound trio before they headed out of Gypsy Hill Park but a couple of questions turned into much more...

First Question was simply what is your first thought after the big "W" ?

Bill- "Wow", for the third season in a row we will be playing on the final day of the season. I can't tell you just how proud I am of this group of young men. We accomplished so many things this season. We won the pennant, we beat the number one team in the country (Vienna) and now for the third reason in a row we will play for the championship. What a special season for a very special group of young men.

Next Question was then the same one asked to Mike-

When Mike's first word was Wow!, I informed him that the boss had already claimed that one...

Mike- Wow, Wow ! We are going to have our hands full with Covington but we will be playing for the Championship. Covington must be playing great baseball right now (4-0 in the VBL post season). We have a scouting report to write when we get back to town tonight but that is a good problem to have right now. Did you hear the chatter coming out of our dugout in the 8TH inning? They knew they were going to win the game. This group just never gives up on themselves.

The Q & A / conversation was lively and bounced back and forth quickly and there were times where the trio was finishing each others thoughts..

Bill started out with talking about his franchise and the town that supports it but Mike was the one talking at the end-

Luray is a special place. We have a population of 5,500 and we are able to draw 400 hundred to 500+ plus fans a night. Two years ago we had a crowd of 892 at game five of the finals. The community and the volunteers are also so supportive all season long. The fans are so supportive and our host families are UN-believable. There is a mystique about the town and the team that makes it all work so well.
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UPDATE FROM SAN DIEGO- Bottom of the 5TH and the game is tied 1-1, with Maddux having the Padres RBI. Greg has allowed 1 run on just two hits but is still in search of a little offense.He has retired 14 of the last 15 Giant batters!
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I was able to ask Buck what he thought was the reasoning behind the recent success of the Wranglers?

Buck- You can say the same thing about both Waynesboro and Luray. They have the 2 best coaches and the 2 best support staffs. The reason they are successful is that they let the managers do their job without a great deal of micro-managing. I am proud to be a part of the success the teams success this season...

Mike and Bill were both quick to say just how big a part of the teams success Buck was...

Buck is the best Valley League recruiting coordinator since Tom Chrisman. You have to know the coaches and you have to know the players. Our efforts in putting together the 2008 roster was a great combination of Buck, Bill and myself...

I tossed out the question to the smiling trio- just when did you think you might have something special and all three pointed back to the same night...

We were meeting until 1:30 AM back on May 20TH and when we got up from the kitchen table and walked outside for a minute. The three of us stepped back and said I think we've got this figured out. Now the players still have to arrive and we have to produce on the field but that night we liked our chances.

There was early talk around town that the team would have to try and play .500 ball over the first six to eight games until the late arrivals made it to town. At the 14 game mark Luray was 8-6, then the NCAA World Series ended and all players were available. By the time the dust settled 8-6 had become 28-10. The team captured 20 of 24 contests and that was not counting the cross-league showdown against #1 in the country,Vienna Senators...
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8 Pitches is all the Maddux needed to retire San Fran in the top of the sixth to keep the game tied 1-1. 73 pitches and still just 2 hits allowed...
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Back to the next question- Any thoughts on facing the Covington Lumberjacks?

Mike- They have a great deal of speed and as they say Speed never goes into a slump but we will send Sminks (Travis Smink- VMI) out there Sunday and see what he can do. We know their strengths but we have our arms all ready to go...

The two-headed monster that is Luray 2008 is power hitting as well as power pitching...

Adam McClain (9), Jeff Jefferson (9), Austin Markel (9) and Ryan Schimpf (7 in just 24 games) are just some of the Wranglers that can go yard on you. The team has 62 long balls heading into the finals. But this team is not one dimensional.

Six Wrangler pitchers have their ERA at 2.01 or lower...

Drew Rucinski 4-1 (.089), Smink 5-1 (2.15), Matt Boylan 1-1 (1.65), Kyle Cichy 4-1 (1.80), Alex Wimmers 4-1 (1.96) and Alex Wiesner 0-0 (2.01). If that is not enough we will mention that Alex Koronis (4-1, 3.03) showed us earlier this week how dominate he can be...

Covington @ Luray- begins tonight at the ball park in just under two hours !
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San Diego scratched out a run in the bottom of the sixth inning to give Maddux a 2-1 lead heading into the 7TH inning. Mike Adams will take his place on the mound and try really hard
to become the guys who blows a save opportunity for Maddux for the 8TH time this season.

Maddux- 6.0 innings / 1 Run (Earned) / 2 hits / 73 piches-51 strikes / 0 Walks / 1 K
At the plate 1 for 2 with 1 RBI
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Now, if the Wranglers can get that type of line from Sminks tonight...

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