Saturday, May 31, 2008

Lets play 2! Bulldogs & Wranglers both slated to play Tuesday @ Bulldog Field

The good news for Luray fans (besides bringing home the Region B trophy on the team bus) is that their next game will be a home game on Tuesday. The bad news for the town is there is a 7:30 p.m. Valley Baseball League match-up between Woodstock and Luray. I am not sure how this one will get worked out by here is my .50 cents worth of free advice-

Why not schedule the coolest double header in the history of the town?! I will try and find out what the game plan will be. As hard as the Wranglers GM (Diane Buckley) has been working I am sure she won't even blink at the outcome.

Map quest has the bus ride at 3 hours - 9 minutes / 147 miles for the Red Devils.... We will try
to come up with a scouting report for Lancaster as info presents itself.

Here is what we do know now- Essex defeated them 8-2 yesterday and they will be home to host Strasburg on Tuesday.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Now you know the rest of the story! Luray wins 12-7

I've always said you can judge the importance of a ball game by the number of media outlets there to cover the action! I had mentioned Craig Juer (NVD) and Bill Meade (PN&C) but that was just the tip of the ice burg. Greg Brill was there to represent the Winchester Star, John Galle covering the Rams for the Shenandoah Valley Herald and Ace camera lady Rebecca Carter was
snapping pictures for Around The Valley in 60 Days.

I had the best seat in the house for two reasons- (1st) I was sitting next to Mr. Craig Orndorff and he's as good with play-by-play as anyone around. (2nd) The broadcast booth/table is only about 10 feet removed from home plate!

The crowd was every bit as big as I had expected. Strasburg AD Matt Hiserman estimated the gathering at 700-750 with a fair amount of Luray maroon mixed in with the home team purple.
Luray (25-1) sent Ryan Carroll to the mound which sent me in search of Mr.Carroll to ask him when the last time Ryan pitched. The answer was exactly 4 weeks earlier (May 2) against Stonewall Jackson. I am used to seeing Ryan stationed at 3rd base but was happy to hear he won that game 9-2 over the Generals.

Strasburg (21-3) countered with their number 3 starter, senior T.J Downey. Downey charged out of the gate by retiring the Bulldogs 1-2-3 in the top of the first inning. The McDonald brothers got to Carroll in the home half of the first when Timmy crushed a double of the wall and Riley singled him home for a 1-0 lead.

Carroll helped his own cause when his RBI single scored fellow senior Billy Foley. Foley led off the frame with a double to start the rally and Brad Painter ended it when he ripped a 2-run home run to give LHS a 3-1 lead. Johnny VanWyck stretched the lead to 4-1 in the third when the speedster swiped one of his three bases and came around to score when Foley reached on an error.

Carroll suffered thru the bottom of the third inning when his defense had a brief lapse. Strasburg makes a living capitalizing on their opponents miscues and tonight was no different.The Rams sent 9 batters to the plate and 5 of them touched the plate before Luray could put out the fire. Two errors, two walks and a bleeding single were all wrapped around a RBI double by Riley McDonald.

You have to give Carroll credit for pitching thru the breakdown and keeping Luray in the game by retiring T.J Downey on a sac fly and Josh Kibler on a line drive. The damage was done and the Rams were back ahead 6-4.

The teams traded runs in the fifth inning but both teams just missed an opportunity to take a big lead. VanWyck scored the second of his three runs with a single and a stolen base. The center fielder came around to score when Painter picked up his third RBI on a bloop single. Painter gave the Bulldogs a bases loaded situation with just one out but Justin Rush slammed the door for the home team. Rush relieved Downey in the fourth and the junior recorded back to back strike outs to keep the Rams ahead 6-5.

Carroll allowed the first two Rams hitters to reach base in the fifth inning on a single and a walk, sending LHS skipper Steve Griffith to his bullpen. Sophomore Daniel Runyon issued two walks of his own, the second one plated Alex Pfeiffer. Trailing 7-5 and facing the heart of the Rams line up with the bases loaded would be pretty scary for even a seasoned veteran but Runyon proved up to the task. Timmy McDonald sent a shallow fly ball to left field and Riley McDonald followed with a deeper fly ball to right field but that was the third out of the inning. I hope to ask Griffith later if he has ever had a pitcher record two bigger outs?

LHS still was facing a 7-5 deficit and Rush was looking almost UN-hittable. Rush opened the top of the sixth by retiring J.P Kelley and Lucas Dickson on a pair of routine ground balls. The Bulldogs were four outs away from taking a long bus ride to Essex for their Elite Eight game when the speedy VanWyck beat out an infield single and you guessed it- swiped second base.
Jeremy Leake came to the plate 0-for-3 despite ripping the ball twice and proceeded to stroke a double to plate VanWyck to cut the lead to 7-6. A walk to Foley and a wild pitch put Bulldogs on second and third for Carroll.

I looked over at my broadcast partner Craig and predicted big things for young Carroll. Craig asked me what my logic in the prediction was and I simply responded by saying-"The previous times Ryan came to the plate he was hitting as a pitcher but this time he came to the plate as a power hitting third baseman."

My logic worked earlier when I had told Craig that the key to the Bulldog line-up was VanWyck is quick so he has to get on base and cause some havoc. So now I needed my power hitting third baseman to deliver...

Carroll stroked a double down the right field line to plate Foley and Leake, giving Luray the lead once again at 8-7. I had yet to stop patting myself on the back when Painter hit a line drive single and T.J Noser beat out an infield single to plate Carroll. A walk to Chad Duncan loaded the bases and Kelley sent a deep fly ball to left center field that Josh Kibler appeared to have a beat on before loosing his footing. The ball went to the wall for a 3 run double and the Luray lead stood at 12-7.

Strasburg had rallied back all season and twice in the Region B play to defeat Wilson and Appomattox but this time they would have to do it against Leake. Leake had pitched just 4
innings on Wednesday against Chatham and he took the ball from to Griffith to start the bottom of the sixth inning.

Leake struggled with his first three pitches before settling down to strike out the side. Leake made it four straight K's when he fanned the lead off hitter in the bottom of the seventh. Kibler managed to stroke a two out double but Luray captured the Region B crown when Leake retired Zach Cover on a pop-up to second base to end the game.....

Notes and Quotes will follow and I am still hoping to speak with the winning skipper after he makes it home. Bill Meade, Craig Juer and Greg Brill were all waiting to speak to Griffith and two of the three were/are up against a dead line. I have a great deal of respect for all the above and I encourage you to check out Craig @ www.nvdaily.com and Greg @ www.winchesterstar.com once their stories post in the a.m.

Also grab a copy of the Page News & Courier and the Shenandoah Valley Herald next Wednesday when they hit the street.

One more thanks to Mr.Orndorff for letting me come along for the ride!

How 'Bout them Bulldogs?

Luray captured the title, defeating the Strasburg Rams 12-7 tonight at Strasburg!
Go 'dogs!




Some random pictures. Story to come! Some more game pictures to be posted later :)

Dan with the Around the Valley poster.

Epic brain trust.

Stretching, stretching... and he's out!

What an awesome slide!

The amazing hit just blew the signs away...
or was it the outfielder's body crashing into them?

Way to go!

Safe at first! Way to stay on your toes...

Right after the home run. Epic.

The scoreboard after the home run. Beautiful.

...is he going to be out? From the looks of it, he might be.

Nope! Safe!

Trying to pick us off first, again. Safe!

Some base hit love on first.

Some more base hit love.

One epic rally shown on the scoreboard. Way to go, 'dogs!

Right after the game.

Post-game meeting.

The Dream Team.

Bill Meade hard at work.

Pimp that trophy.

Champs!

Dad and Craig - broadcasters for the game.

Luray Bulldogs @ Strasburg Rams - Region B Title Tilt

The first pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at what should be a packed house in Strasburg. The championship of Region B baseball as well as the right to stay at home for your next game is on the line tonight!

Strasburg (21-2) earned a spot in the championship game after a pair of come from behind wins over Wilson (5-4) and Appomattox (7-4). Both the wins came at home for the defending Class A State Champs.

Luray (23-1) arrives in town after a pair of late game victories over George Mason (3-2) and Chatham (7-6). The Bulldog victory over the Cavilers saw LHS rally back from down 6-3
late in the game.

The game will see plenty of media coverage from both sides, starting with Craig Juer (NVD) and Bill Meade (Page News). You can read Craig on line after 10:00 a.m. tomorrow at www.nvdaily.com .

I will have the special treat of providing color along side one of the best play by play man in the region. Craig Orndorff will be calling the game for his network www.valleysportsradio.com
and I am looking forward to calling a game with Craig again.

We will also have some pictures and notes from the game later tonight!

Waynesboro qualifies for States / Luray battles Clover Hill

Skipper Jim Critzer and his Waynesboro Little Giants (22-5) defeated Jefferson Forrest Thursday evening by a score of 10-8. The victory moves WHS back into state competition for a second consecutive season.

The Little Giants received a first round bye, then rallied late to defeat William Byrd before heading down to Amherst to face the JF Cavilers. The Cavs (18-5) struggled in the field for a second straight game and simply could not overcome 7 errors.

I don't want to spoil the read of Al Samuels coverage at www.newsleader.com or in the News Leader tomorrow. I am sure he will talk about a running catch and a 2-run homer! Way to go Waynesboro!

A number of Valley baseball teams went in search of an exhibition game to break in the troops. Both Staunton (vs. RCBL's Stuarts Draft) and Winchester (vs. Hagerstown Mud Cats) played at their home parks while Luray made a 44 mile drive out to Clover Hill (RCBL) to face the Bucks.
Coach Bocock talked late last night about some of his big city kids getting to see some down home "Americana" during the journey and there was a report of one of the players from Miami did see a cow up close for the first time!

"The ball field out at Cover Hill is right out of Field of Dreams," Bocock noted. "It is a great place for us to get to play baseball."

We made the trip and stayed until the final out of the Wranglers 8-4 victory over the Bucks. There will be some great pictures up later today and some game notes. Bill Turner (Luray owner) and his family made the trip with the team and a decent amount of Clover Hill supporters showed up to watch the home town nine as well.

Jeff Jefferson (Liberty U.) was coming off a monster performance in the Big South tournament and stayed hot at the plate by going 3 of 3 with a double to lead the Wrangler attack.

More on the game and photos later but it is now Friday and we play ball for real on Saturday night!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

10 Things I Loved about Thursday Night ! David Letterman style

10. For the third night in a row I watched a great high school baseball game that was decided by
one run after the home team rallied.

9. Talking with Luray manger Mike Bocock about anything having to do with baseball. His baseball smile is as wide as Critzer's.

8. Getting to spend any 15 minutes with Mr. & Mrs. Alger while they are working their magic
@ Rebel Park.

7. Getting to ask both Ryan Carroll and his father which one of them was more excited when Ryan caught the final out in the Luray victory (Mr.Carroll said his chair broke from the tension).

Ryan said- "It just ended up falling into my glove but I knew Jeremy was behind me"

6. Trading stories with my New Market broadcast partners and getting to tell Dallas's wife she looks younger every time I see her.

5. Getting to spend 5 hours with my youngest daughter and having her talk about how exciting
the Bulldog game was.

4. Visiting with Chatham baseball parents including the mother of Andrew Redd and seeing Drew Hicks grandfather retrieve Drew's home run ball.

3. Getting the opportunity to visit with News & Courier editor Randy Arrington for the better part of the game- Randy, you made a big impression on my daughter.

2. Talking baseball all game with the "distinguished gentleman" wearing a UVA hat. Then finding out he is Al Samuels (News-Leader, 30+ years covering high school sports) and his takes on high school athletics are very similar to my own!

1. Having the Luray softball coach (Mr.Turner) stop and tell me he liked the story I wrote last week and that he took the time to look at all the pictures we posted of his girls playing that day!
I live in a world where the glass is always half full and I choose only to see and write about things in a positive light. When someone like Coach Turner stops long enough to take a drink from that glass- well- it makes it ALL SEEM WORTH IT !!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

An exciting night of action on US-211! LHS, Wranglers, PCHS, Rebels all see action

The calender on the computer was jammed full of baseball related events on Wednesday evening so my daughter Rebecca and I set out to catch as much of the action as possible. The
number of items was 5 so lets get right to it!

5:00 p.m.-Head Coach Alan Knight and his Page County Panthers hosted Gretna in a Region-B softball semi-final in Shenandoah.
6:00 p.m.- First pitch is set for the Region-B baseball semi-final between host Luray and the visiting Cavilers from Chatham.
6:30 p.m.- Diane Buckley and Bill Turner roll out the red carpet at Imagination Station for the annual meet and greet that is "Meet The Wranglers".
7:00 p.m.- Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Alger and company prepare a huge dinner for the "Meet The Rebels" which is to be followed by an exhibition game versus the RCBL's New Market Shockers.
7:00 p.m.- Dateline Strasburg- Appomattox and Strasburg begin play in the second Region-B
semi-final with the winner hosting the Luray- Chatham winner.

I will break up the stories from here and we will post pictures with the stories and try and regroup for tomorrow night when Waynesboro Little Giants travel to Amherst (vs.Jefferson Forest @ 5:00 p.m.) for their next round game, the Luray Wranglers travel to Clover Hill for an exhibition game and Winchester welcomes the Hagerstown Mud Cats to their park.

Stories and pictures from tonight will now follow!
___________________________________________________________________

Page County Softball

Page News and Courier Sports editor Bill Meade was once again trying to do double duty and his day began at PCHS. Little did he know that he would end up watching an epic softball game for the next 2+ hours. Gretna finally captured the game in the top of the 12th inning, much to the dismay of the Panther faithful. The Panthers completed another outstanding season under their long time skipper. Please read Bill's story in the next edition of the Page News and Courier!
___________________________________________________________________

Luray vs. Chatham

I'm not sure which part of the story to tell first- the great high school baseball game I witnessed or the group of people I watched it with.

Let's go to the action first- Luray righty Jeremy Leake struck out the side in the top of the first inning and the Bulldogs hit back to back doubles off Chatham starter Matt Bray. Leake sent the next pitch Bray offered to the wall in dead center field but Drew Kirks made a great running catch to keep the score 1-0. After just six batters the game looked pretty easy from a Bulldog point of view.

Kirks quickly tied the score at 1-1 with a lead off home run to left field in the top of the second but Luray answered with a run in the bottom of the second thanks to a lead off double by Bradley Painter.

Chatham
broke loose for 4 runs in the top of the third inning off Leake to take a 5-2 lead. Once again a Caviler led off the inning with a Home Run, this time #9 hitter Brent Shelton doing the damage. But unlike the second inning when Leake shut down the visitors, Chatham kept plugging away. Jacob Yates walked and Tyler Younger singled before Leake recorded the first out of the frame. Kirks walked to load the bases and all three runners came around to score on a single, HBP and a ground out.

Leake kept the Bulldogs in the game by retiring Andrew Redd on a fly out to center fielder Johnny VanWyck with two runners in scoring position. Billy Foley turned a walk into a run for Luray in the bottom of the inning but LHS still trailed 5-3.

The teams traded single runs in the fourth inning with Shelton once again doing the damage for the Cavilers. Shelton doubled to lead off and came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Younger and Luray answered with VanWyck stealing a run to close the gap to 6-4. VanWyck reached on an infield single and stole second base. Leake help his own cause by stroking a single to plate the speedy VanWyck.

LHS
coach Steve Griffith went to the bullpen in the fifth inning after Lee Herndon led off with a single. Richard Galindez came into the game (Galindez won the quarter-final game vs. George Mason) and held Chatham scoreless for the remainder of the evening.

The Bulldogs trailed 6-4 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning and their dream season was in danger. Chad Duncan led off with a single and Jordan Sullivan followed with another to put the tying runs on base. Dickson bunted the ball in an attempt to move the runners up but Kirks (now pitching to his first batter) made a diving catch of the ball. Sullivan was running on the play and would of been an easy double play but the throw got away from the Chatham first baseman. Both Duncan and Sullivan advanced on the error to put the tying runs into scoring position. The gentleman sitting to my left (I will get back to him later) quickly noted- just turned out to be a routine sac bunt!

VanWyck
lined a single off the pitchers mound for his third hit of the game. The junior only picked up 1 RBI because Sullivan was held at third base. Still trailing 6-5 but with two runners on, the Bulldogs benefited from a second Caviler miscue of the inning. An errant attempt to pick Sullivan off third base allowed the tying run to score and VanWyck to move to second base.

The distinguished gentleman to my left looked at the score board and noted it was the Devil's scoreboard- 6 to 6 in the 6th inning. My daughter quickly added the count was 3-2 with 1 out (yes-equals 6) when Foley lined the game winning single to left field to plate VanWyck. Galindez came out to pitch the seventh inning and pick up his second win of the week after Ryan
Carroll made a over the shoulder catch of a pop-up at third base.

The Bulldogs live to play another day but now it is 8:05 p.m.

Pictures of the great people we got to watch the game with:


...Randy Arrington, Bill Meade, and Al Samuels.

___________________________________________________________________

Meet The Wranglers

I was trying to hold the fort down for Bill Meade until he arrived from PCHS but with the 12 inning affair the Panthers were playing.... Bill made it in time to see the final outs and about that time Diane was pulling up in her SUV and the players were coming back for their first practice. I will try and get some details on how that went!
___________________________________________________________________

Strasburg v. Appomattox


Strasburg
led 4-3 after two innings and the Rams would go on to capture a 7-4 victory over Appomattox. You can always count on Matt Hiserman (AD) to update the website as soon as possible- Strasburg is heading to its 3rd straight state tourney- but this time they are taking the Luray Bulldogs with them. The two will meet Friday night at 7:00 p.m. in Strasburg. Congrats to Coach Smoot as the Rams and if you have a chance check out the coverage in the Saturday edition of the Northern Virginia Daily.
___________________________________________________________________

Meet the Rebels

We raced over to New Market to visit with Bruce Alger and company as the Rebels took the field for the first time. Bruce was the gracious host that he always is and gave glowing reports of the pre-game meal.

"It was the biggest turn out we have ever had," Alger said. "We had somewhere around 175 fans show up for the dinner. The way this community continues to show up and support our club is what makes it all so special."

It gave me a opportunity to visit with three of the four Rebel web-casters I cover the games with. Dallas Alkire was there with his lovely wife but I think Tony Mowat was home watching his beloved Pens try and figure out the Red Wings (hockey- for those scoring at home).

Jay and Charlie were also there as was Charlie's wife (Mrs. Charlie is amongst the most die-hard Rebel fans). I received great news in that one of my favorite players from last season - Ross Fetterly will be returning to New Market for another season with the Rebels. Ross and I both grew up in the Tidewater area and hit it off immediately last season when I was covering him for the NVD.

We visited and watched the middle innings of the game with Bruce, Mo and company before heading back to Luray in hopes of catching Mike Bocock and the Wranglers at the end of practice... Time of departure- 10:12 p.m.


Mr. and Mrs. Dallas Alkire


Mr. and Mrs. Rebels Baseball along with their fetching young pup, Cinnamon. fdsa f

Dave, Head of Security

What I, in my unbiased, third party opinion, believe is an awesome shot. Click on it!

Mo Weber :)
____________________________________________________________________

We managed the 14.4 mile drive back to the other side of the mountain in 20 minutes and found both Bill Turner and skipper Mike in a good mood. Well, as good of a mood as you could be when you are missing 1/2 of your roster. Bocock brought something to my attention about the number of missing players around the league.

"We are starting earlier this season than we have in the past," Bocock said. "We would usually start the week between the regionals (64 teams) and the super-regionals (16 teams). It makes
a big difference to how many players are available when you have four times as many teams still playing."

Despite only having about 1/2 of his roster available, Bocock was upbeat about the players we had practicing in front of him.

"My first impression is the they are very good and they can really hit the ball," Bocock added. "I am excited about having Jimmy Hamilton (Former Turner Ashby star) as our pitching
coach as well as Randy being back for a 3rd year. I also think the kids will enjoy playing tomorrow night at Clover Hill."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Day at the Office : Part 1 : Waynesboro's Jim Critzer

The last time I watched Jim Critzer flash that famous ear to ear grin of his before today was moments after Waynesboro defeated Luray in game four of the Finals last season. I had the pleasure of interviewing Critzer while he still had his hands on the trophy but that smile paled in comparison to the one I saw this evening.

One of the most fascinating things for me about the owners of the 11 teams in the Valley League is that they all have "real jobs". Critzer works for a living like all of the others but the difference for the Waynesboro owner is he gets to wear cool uniforms to work and I can tag a long with him for a day.

Critzer is the head baseball coach for the other tenant at Kate Collins Middle School- his Waynesboro Little Giants. Waynesboro captured the regular season crown in the newly formed Southern Valley District which earned them a first round bye on Monday evening.

William Byrd High School (Vinton) advanced to face the Little Generals with a 2-1 victory over Amherst on Monday. The Terriers would find themselves in another thrilling contest on Tuesday at Kate Collins.

Critzer sent Joseph Lucas to the mound for the home team and the young lefty would do his skipper proud. Lucas allowed a lead off single to Brandon Garnett and a RBI single to Stephen Dean before settling down to record three of his 10 strike outs to keep the score 1-0.

Right fielder Terrell Thompson made a diving catch worthy of ESPN consideration in the second inning to back the efforts of Lucas. Lucas retired 8 straight in the middle of the contest and that string was broken only by a dropped third strike in the fifth inning.

Lucas did his best to pitch around the only two errors of the game in the top of the sixth inning but John Conner stroked a RBI double to push the Byrd lead to 2-0. Six outs were all that remained in the game for the Waynesboro nine but Critzer kept working his players confidence at the plate from the third base coaches box.

"We don't have any standouts this team, we simply have 16 real solid ball players and it is a different one that steps up each night," Critzer said. "Tonight it was Terrell and Joseph but I could go right down the list for the season. It might be easier if I just give you our line-up card."
Jeremy Hahn led off the sixth inning with a walk and Stevie Moreland followed with a second base on balls. Derek Hall lined a RBI single to make it 2-1 and Will Freeman walked to keep the rally going.Lucas helped his own cause with a RBI single to tie the score at 2-2 to set the stage for the speedy Thompson.

Thompson beat out a potential double play ball to reach on a fielders choice and when Eric Hall did the same it allowed Freeman to score the third run of the inning and give the Little Giants a 3-2 come from behind victory.

Lucas went back out to the mound to finish what he started by pitching around the 5th Terrier hit he allowed for the game. Short stop Jay Thompson gathered in the final ground ball and fired it across the diamond to Josh Craig to send the Little Giants (16-5) down to Amherst County for the next round on Thursday evening. The next opponnent for Critzer and company will be the winner of Northside and Jefferson Forrest.

Give Coach and his players 24 hours to enjoy this hard fought victory before they lace up the cleats again! I am willing to bet Critzer (and his chewed up ball cap) will keep that smile on his face at least half that long...

When I asked the skipper to describe what the game of baseball means to him, he gave me the only answer I could expect.

"The game of baseball has made me a millionaire," Critzer noted with a smile getting wider by the moment. "It has never been about me, it has always been about the kids."

Final notes- Critzer did give up the game winning line-up card to me and told the story about how his two pups chewed up his cap but after he wore a different one during a loss to Rockbridge his players voted for him to wear the original! Good Luck down in Amherst on Thursday night.

Strasburg (defending A State champs) needed a 3 spot in their final at-bat to defeat Wilson Memorial 5-4 to advance in Region B play. Their game was pushed back one night so now Strasburg will return to action Wednesday night vs. Appomattox at home.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Luray advances with thrilling 3-2 victory over George Mason

Luray opened what the Bulldogs hope to be a deep run into the playoffs by edging visiting George Mason 3-2 in high school baseball action today in Luray.

Ryan Carroll sent a flair just out of the reach of Mustang second baseman Michael Ward to score Jeremy Leake with the deciding run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Leake walked with one out and stole second base (1 of 6 steals for Luray) to set-up the big moment for Carroll.

The single by Carroll was one of just six hits allowed by Mustang starter Michael Straub. Straub went the distance and fanned 12 of the 18 Bulldogs retired during the contest but lost the pitching duel with Bulldog starter Richard Galindez.

Luray scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning and appeared to have the #2 seed from the Bull Run on the ropes. Lucas Dickson walked and Johnny VanWyck singled and both Bulldogs came around to score on a double to the right field wall by Leake. Leake advance to third on a single by Billy Foley but Straub struck out the side to keep his club in the game.

George Mason tied the score in the second inning when Brian Lubnow singled home Michael Ward and Peter Campanelli scored on a throwing error to tie the game.

Both pitchers settled into a groove with Galindez avoiding disaster by retiring Lonnie Millard on a 3-2 count in the fourth inning with the bases loaded. Millard drilled a line drive to center field but VanWyck made the catch to end the rally and keep the score tied at 2-2.

Luray missed an opportunity to add some insurance when the Bulldogs had runners called out at home plate on back to back pitches in the bottom of the sixth inning. T.J Noser was tagged out after a failed squeeze bunt attempt and Dickson was out when he tried to score on a past ball.
The day belonged to Leake as the senior switched from short stop to the pitching mound in the top of the final inning. Leake shook off a 40 minute rain delay to earn the save with a pair of strike outs, including fanning Andrew Lieber to end the game with the tying run on second base.
For the afternoon Leake went 1-2, 1 run, 2 RBI and one save- not a bad line for a Memorial Day baseball game.

The victory allows Luray to return to action on Wednesday at home against the winner of Goochland- Dogwood.

Tomorrow will have Waynesboro playing it's opening playoff game at Kate Collins field at 6:00 p.m.

Dallas Baptist U. earns #2 seed / UVA heads west!

Dallas Baptist University picked-up their very first invitation to the NCAA baseball tourney. The Patriots will make the short drive to College Station as the #2 seed. Texas A+M (#1) and Houston (#3) are potential road blocks in the regional round. Illinois-Chicago rounds out the bracket as the four seed.

The opening round games will begin on Friday May 30,2008 with Dallas Baptist squaring off with the Houston Cougars. With any luck the Patriots (4 Luray 2008 players) will have an extended run into the tournament!

James Madison University (#4 seed) stays close to home but will have to face #1 N.C. State in the opening game of the Raleigh bracket.

University of Virginia players will score some frequent flyer miles as the HOOS head west as the #3 seed. UVA opens with #2 seed UCLA and also will deal with #1 seed (#5 overall) Cal-State Fullerton and Rider.

Good luck to all the players from the 64 teams! Visit www.ncaa-baseball.com for full brackets!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Kouz goes upper deck (412 Feet) in support of Maddux

Kevin Kouzmanoff (Winchester) is quickly becoming one of my favorite former Valley players! Once again the Nevada Wolf Pack star has homered with Greg Maddux on the mound. Kouz's blast put Maddux (350 wins & counting) up 4-1 after 4 innings. The first time in a long long time Maddux has some breathing room.

UVA spotted Miami a 7-0 lead before rallying late and the Cavs dropped the ACC Championship game 8-4 to the Hurricanes. Consecutive losses take a bit of the shine off back to back upsets over UNC & FSU but it should still give the Hoos a boost heading into the regionals.