Saturday, August 2, 2008

Washington Post dominates my day on Day 64 of Around The Valley in 60 Days

Please check out the post from Mr. Greg Brill that will appear just below this one. Today is the hardest day of the work cycle for our real job- Page County Distributor of the Washington Post.

I call my writings on the days that Greg Maddux pitches "Every 5TH Day" so I should call our "billing" Saturday "Every 4TH Week". The job and the hours are tough enough but one week-end out of four it becomes a 48 hour stretch of non-stop crazy. From Saturday afternoon until Monday afternoon we go pretty much non stop. That is without a baseball game to go to, but have no worries because I have created enough of the paper work to do during the 2 & 1/2 loop down to Staunton and back and will be at Gypsy Hill Park for the 7:30 PM start time.

If this week-end is already enough on it's own, the Washington Post is raising the price of the daily edition up to .75 cents from the current .50 cents in all of the outer markets. So for any Post readers in Harrisonburg, Luray, New Market, Woodstock, Staunton or Waynesboro you will be paying .75 cents on Monday morning.

This is bad for three reasons... The first reason is an obvious one but it is the second and third one that really hurt. The second reason is the paper will still say .50 cents on it and in little bitty fine print it will read "May be higher in outer markets(more than 50 miles out from D.C.)". I do mean in little fine print!

The third reason makes the second one sting even more- The price increase it to cover THEIR transportation cost. Translation- will as distributors will not be seeing ANY of the increase. So, to recap my customers will be required to pay more-the price won't be correct on the paper so it will appear to be us doing the increasing- and we won't see anything on the other end...

I have told people all season that I live in a world that the glass is half full but this one is putting me to the test. But I only have to think back to April 1ST when the Richmond Times-Dispatch tapped all of their help over the entire western half of the state and said- Thanks for your years of help but come April 30TH we will no longer be needing your help. So I guess taking the fall for a move that I do understand to be a necessity does beat losing your business as a whole.

But then is one of our nicest customers, Mr. Monte Layman, that told me that he only reads the paper everyday for the Sports section. The Post did say that they ran a story about the price increase so that some people would know it is coming- I'm guessing they didn't run it in the Sports section! P.S- Monte- The WP Sports section is the only section I feel qualified to read as the rest of the paper is beyond my grasp...

As exhausted as I am, going to a baseball game tonight will be a nice diversion! Hope to see you down in Staunton!

From the Desk of Greg Brill


Some news and notes on my travels around the Valley Baseball League
Written by Greg Brill

Earlier this season, Jerry Carter asked me to share some thoughts on my experiences with the Valley Baseball League. That request came again recently and I thought "Why not?"

I have had the good fortune to see many fine athletes in the Shenandoah Valley and report on their achievements over the last 27 years. I started out with the Northern Virginia Daily back in 1981 and currently write for the Winchester Star. The good folks I have worked for at both of these papers have allowed me to cover the VBL and see its growth over the years.

When I started out there were only six teams in the league, and one of them was the Madison Blue Jays. But when I say "started out" I need to backpedal a bit.

A family friend, Keith Lupton, was starting up a VBL team in Winchester. It was the fall of 1978 and Keith contacted my father about me getting involved as a scorekeeper. Back in my teenage years, I loved to play baseball and I loved to look at box scores. You couldn't always find them in the local paper, so you had to wait and pick up a copy of The Sporting News and check out how your favorite players did. Two of my favorites from the 70s were Gary Carter, who was a catcher for Montreal, and Joe Rudi, an outfielder for the three-time World Series champion Oakland A's. Whether those guys went 2-for-3, 2-for-4, or 0-for-4, I was interested. So when the Winchester Royals were born and took the field for the first time in the summer of 1979, I was there. That was also the first year for Bridgeforth Field (James Wood and Handley High Schools had already played the FIRST game there, won 1-0 by Handley in extras). The Royals first game was played at Kate Collins Field, on June 1, I believe, and the Generals beat the Royals 4-1.

During that first season, I got to ride along with the team on the bus to road games. Some of the trips got long, but it was still fun. Some of the guys befriended me, which was way cool for a high school kid. You just knew some of them would go on to bigger things. One of them was third baseman Jeff "Smoothie" Reynolds, who went on to play a few years in the Yankees system. One night, at Old Rebel Park, I got to warm up and throw with center fielder Joey Moffitt. I'll tell you this, the guy could make your hand hurt on long toss! Two months later, the Royals defeated Madison in the best of seven Lineweaver Cup Finals and Winchester was on its way to a string of five straight championships.

Back then, I was put in charge of relaying info to the local papers after we got back from road trips. Once I began writing, it actually took me a few years to get a chance to cover games. But over that span, I got to see Winchester put a nice run together to win the playoffs in 1987, getting a regular chance to cover a friend from childhood, Kevin Anderson, lead New Market to contention during his three-year stay with the Rebels in the mid 1990s, and seeing a former pitcher I covered often in high school, Jeff Hahn, play a major part in Winchester's championship season of 2001, won in five games in a very competitive series with the expansion Covington Lumber Jacks.

Now, many years after keeping a scorebook in a dusty dugout miles from Winchester, I have a different role. I just completed my third year on the Board of Directors for the Front Royal Cardinals. I have opportunities to see the day to day operations of a VBL team, close at hand.
Though we did not do so this summer, my wife Cathy and I had been host parents for four seasons (Well, three for me; Cathy got the jump in 2004, before we hooked up). We did not host this summer, largely because we were out of town a little more than usual. I have to admit to missing the interaction a little with our "Summer Sons." Cathy and I tried to do all sorts of activies with our players, from going to major league games to taking them out to eat (hey, you can't have the wife cooking at home all the time!). You develop long-lasting friendships, at least that's what you get with most of them.

A couple of the guys who have stayed with us are pitching in the minors. Derrick Lutz, who led the VBL in saves in'04, is at AA Chattanooga (Reds). Cathy and I got a chance to see Derrick on our way to Texas in mid June and he was tickled to see us both. We took him and his wife out to eat after the game. In fact, Derrick is about to become a poppa for the first time. We have had others fortunate to sign. Avy Rasowsky played in the Marlins system for three years, and we got a chance to see him last summer when his team payed a visit to Hagerstown. Avy is getting married this fall and Cathy and I will be there. There's also Trey Barham, pitching rookie ball out in the Great Northwest in the A's system (Just a little too far for us to make that trip). Anyway, those folks throughout the VBL that have hosted college players can relate to what I am saying.

It's a great experience that stays a lifetime with you! Last week I was at Rebel Park for their final home game and was moved by the pregame ceremony to honor third-year Rebs Dale Brannon and Kevin Deitrich. Team President Bruce Alger handled it all well, and in his dual-role as public address announcer, got to speak about two players that have meant a lot to New Market Nation. He closed by telling Dietrich and Brannon: "The final four words from the movie Hoosiers sums up how I feel, I love you guys."

People like Alger have been around the VBL for years and have helped this league grow. So has Jim Phillips, who has had some connection with Winchester since 1980 and helps bring in top-notch players most every year as the Royals GM. There's Mike Bocock, who has managed teams in Staunton, New Market, Covington, and now Luray. There's the large crowds at John Moxie Stadium. The loyal followings also at Waynesboro, New Market, and Winchester. There's Mo Weber. And there's the stadium, the last two years, that I have first been a PA guy at and now do the internet for Cardinals games, Bing Crosby Stadium.

The Valley Baseball League is rich in tradition and I believe it will continue to hold its place for scouts to find the next 5-star player.

I'd like to close by thanking Jerry Carter for what he has brought to this league. The Around the Valley in 60 days promotion has been a positive from its birth. Jerry is another one of those people behind the scenes that does not do this for attention. He does it for his love of the league and baseball.

Good job, JC!

@ Luray 6, Staunton 3 (F)- A gamer and a Chat!

By: Scoop Carter
ATV-60 Correspondant

LURAY- I lived a scene right out of Groundhog Day this evening at Bulldog Field. My days and nights are running into one another but I could almost promise you that Alex Koronis was pitching the last time I was at the park in Luray (Thursday night). When I returned for the game Friday night as the Staunton Braves came to town I check my notes and it says starting pitcher for Luray is #18 (Miami) Alex Koronis.

Seth McGuffin (Wrangler Web Cast) re-assures me that Koronis did indeed come out of the pen and throw 22 pitches to earn the win against Harrisonburg. Tonight Koronis hit the ground running and never slowed down. Alex fired 97 pitches over his seven innings of shut out work which included 10 strike outs as the Hurricane led Luray to a 6-3 victory over Staunton in the VBL semi-final.

Koronis left with a 6-0 lead before the top of the eighth and earned his second win of the post season in just under 24 hours. Luray played its normal game of smothering starting pitching and power hitting that allowed Skipper Mike Bocock's team to tie Waynesboro for the best record in the VBL regular season.

Staunton starter Justin Dignelli (George Washington) started out strong but ran into trouble in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Braves trailed just 1-0 heading into the sixth, after Jordan Yost's homer put the Wranglers on the board in the bottom of the third inning. Dignelli limited the Wranglers to just 3 hits before the sixth but Luray hit back to back Home Runs with C.J Lauriello (2-run home run) and Ryan Schimpf following with a solo shot to push the lead out to 4-0.

Yost (West Virginia ) was one of the few Wranglers to solve Dignelli early when he homered.
" I went to the plate looking fastball and that is what he (Dignelli) threw me."

I am going to sneak in a quick Q & A with the man of the hour or in this case the man of the 24 Hours, Alex Korronis:

Alex Koronis is now in the room and my first question is this- Have you ever been in a situation where you were the winning pitcher on back to back nights?

Koronis: I did that once back at Miami but both wins were vulcher wins out of the bullpen. Not in asituation where I was a starting pitcher in either game.

Now, how often does somebody playing a reporter get to have the star of the game follow him home and chat about the effort? What was working for you tonight?

Koronis: It was one of those nights where I had things working, it felt effortless all game. My fastball had some good zip and the off speed was working and I was throwing it for strikes. My flow carried over from last night and I love pitching in the big games like the playoffs.

Next question- Where you done or could you have continued?

Koronis: Your pumped up and your body tells you that you can keep pitching and I wanted to go one more inning but our coaches really know what is best. Skip said it was time to come out because I had pitched the night before.

After the one-two punch of Thursday/ Friday when will you be able to go back out there?

Koronis: I should be ready to do it again in five days...

Five Days would be next Wednesday- either Game 3 or 4 of the Championship series if the Wranglers advance past Staunton...

The play of the game slipped just a bit over the final innings as both teams struggled with their gloves and throws. The error count was 7 between the teams and Staunton rallied long enough to send the tying run to the plate in the top of the ninth inning. Casey Sedley came to the plate with the score 6-3 and two Braves on the base paths but Bocock went to the pen one more time and Andrew Salgueiro (South Florida) recorded the 12TH and final strike out of the game to give Luray a 1-0 series lead.

Al Samuels was at Bulldog Field and covered the game for the Staunton News-Leader. You can check out his work at http://www.newsleader.com/ ...

In the other Semi-Final :

Covington remained UN-beaten in the playoffs and swiped the home field advantage when the Lumberjacks marched into Kate Collins Field and did the darn near impossible, defeat the Generals at home. ATV-60 friend G-S-G-Mike will have his game recap up soon on our side and I look forward to reading it later.

Here is how the playoffs look from here out:

If both Covington and Luray were to win on Saturday night they would advance to play for the VBL crown and the Best 3 of 5 series would start Sunday night and last no later than Thursday August 7TH.

If either Waynesboro or Staunton win tomorrow a third and deciding game would be played in that series on Sunday night. The Championship series would then begin and the park of the highest/best seed remaining. A HUGE advantage would go to the team that gets to rest up and save their staff on Sunday if the other series goes the full 3 games..

Once again the seeding goes as follows:
1. Waynesboro
2. Luray
5. Staunton
6. Covington

Box Score from Bulldog Field: Wranglers 6, Braves 3

Wranglers 6, Braves 3

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

STA

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

2

3

5

2

LUR

0

0

1

0

0

3

2

0

X

6

8

5



WP- Koronis
LP- Dignelli
SV- Salgueiro

Scoring Summary:

Bottom Third: Wranglers
-Yost homered to left center field

Bottom Sixth: Wranglers
-Lauriello homered , Foltz scored
-Schimpf Homered

Bottom Seventh: Wranglers
-Foltz reached on throwing error, Miller scored, Yost to third
-Lauriello reached on an error, Yost scored, Foltz to third

Top Eighth: Braves
-Izzo reached on an error, Huffer scored, Sedley to second

Top Ninth: Braves
-Most singled, Truxell scored, Townsend to second
-McDade reached on an error, Townsend scored, Most to second

Covington at Waynesboro by GeneralsSignGuyMike


Covington steals Game 1 against the Generals 4-2
Written by Michael Kerr


The Covington Lumberjacks came into Waynesboro off of a sweep against the #3 Fauquier Gators and had a day off and it showed when they defeated the Generals 4-2. Covington's starter Turner Phelps went the complete game giving up only 2 runs on 5 hits, he is now (1-2). The Generals starter Andy Altemus went 7 innings giving up 4 runs on 7 hits, striking out 7 and walked 2. He is now (7-2).

The game was scoreless until the 4th when the Lumberjacks put up 2 runs in the top half, thou Waynesboro did come back to put 1 on the board in the bottom half. The lead grew to 3-1 in the top of the 5th, thou the Generals had one final run in the bottom of the 6th. Covington added an insurance run in the 8th.

Gabriel Saade was 1-4 with a double, a run from a wild pitch and a stolen base. Brandon Sizemore was also 1-4 with a double and a run. Game 2 of the best of 3 will be in Covington tommorrow and if the Generals win, they will have Game 3 of the series back at Kate Collins Field.

Box score:

Covington Lumberjacks 4 9 1
Waynesboro Generals 2 5 1

WP: Turner Phelps (1-2)
LP: Andy Altemus (7-2)
Shaun T. Cox was at the game for the Staunton News-Leader and you can check out his gamer at www.newsleader.com

Notes & Thoughts from Day 63 of Around The Valley in 60 Days!

Friday night always signals the end of another week in the VBL and today was the end of Week #9 and the season is assured to end during week #10...



At the beginning of our promotion we had a banner made that we used for the first 11 nights we went to the parks and on night 10 (Staunton owner) Kay Snyder asked me what my plans were for the banner after night 11? My answer is it would probably end up on the wall downstairs with all of the other keepsakes. She then asked me if I would be willing to leave it with her and Boyd for the rest of the season. The next night we were back in Luray for night 11 and the Wranglers opponent happened to be the Staunton Braves. At the end of the night I rolled the banner up and sent it back with the Snyder's, knowing it would hang each night the Braves were in town.

Fast forward to last night and Boyd comes up the stairs of the press box with a packing tube in his hand. Inside the tube was our banner. All of the things that Kay and Boyd had to concern themselves with just one night after winning an elimination game on the road at Winchester, they managed to neatly pack my banner back in its place and bring it back to Luray. It is the little things in life that stick out to me...

After a game at Bulldog Field I try and make it to the visitors side of the diamond before our guests for the night head out. Everybody that has a job at the park, players or umps or any number of folks with a job to perform look for ways to measure their success rate. Players having batting averages or ERA's and I as the "Voice" have one as well. I want to ask the folks that traveled to our park if they were made to feel at home during the game?

Odd way of looking at things? Not for me and last night I couldn't wait to ask Kay if I had met my goal and she quickly said yes! Boyd then came up and promised a olde fashion woopin tomorrow (inside the lines) at their place. I responded that I wouldn't expect him to say anything else...

My motto for the VBL is this... Inside the white lines, competition is the name of the game...
Outside the white lines...We should be there to watch out for one another...

Front Royal's Greg and Cathy Brill made it down for the game and Greg took home my copy of our Volleyball book. The combination of him being a sports writer and her being the WCHS Volleyball coach should make for a solid review on our other family project. As always, I am appreciative of the interest in our work!

Good to see Kenny and Ellen Grant at Bulldog Field (Loopsters #6 & #7) last night. I had a chance to say hello and also tell them a bit about their jackets they should receive in the next couple of weeks...

The post game dinner went really well for all here at the house and it also allowed me to get to meet Mike Bocock's wife and have a Q & A with Alex Koronis after his win as well as sending Cory Johnson back home with a new bobble head to add to his rather large collection. The evening also gave me the chance to show Seth McGuffin around the house and get to visit with Mr. Andy Caviness. My wife was laughing about talking on the phone with her Mom out in St.Louis earlier and telling her she had bought roughly 20% more food today then she would ever need and you guessed it...

The pup is trying to hide which can only mean 1 thing- there is a storm a brewing close by as Night 63 turns into Morning 64 here at Around The Valley...

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Amazing things you run across when you read a PA script for a VBL game...

The summer is about to draw to a close and I continue to search for the perfect formula behind a VBL team. The nights I work in the box at Luray I spend most of my time discussing life and baseball with Mr. Seth McGuffin. Seth is the track coach over at Eastern Mennonite University and has been with Bill Turner and the Wranglers for a number of years and I am finishing my second year sharing our work space.

Seth has experienced a great deal in life and the two of us often talk about the ideal situations for VBL baseball. We are going to branch out next year and expand the VBL to 14 teams and he will have a team at EMU (insert name here) and I will have mine, say Massanutten, yeah that's the ticket- The Massanutten Mountaineers and we try and make every home game like a trip to Disney! Just need a few donations, do Seth and I- maybe $150,000 each to get through the first couple of seasons.

Everyone affiliated with the VBL is qualified to be an armchair quarterback and the two of us are no different but life is simpler when you are spending someone else's money. I read from a script each night with a fair amount of ad-libbing and I try and study everything I talk about. I wanted to go to Busch Gardens and ride EVERY ride. If you are going to ask the folks to look out to the outfield wall and support the sponsors who have their banners hanging-been able to do that (Sponsor) for a second season...

We thank our host families most every night in the program and celebrate them once a season and say "We couldn't do it without you"... Don't know how true that is until you have lived it and we have in 2007 with Wayne Dowling and 2008 with Clay Kelly.

We thank the folks that give of their time to take/sell tickets, make or sell food, clean-up or in our case work the press box. I know know that some parks are set-up differently but I am proud to say that in both New Market and Luray my efforts are all in a volunteer manner, Except the six figures they pay that Tony Mowat guy...

I study the script, I listen to Bruce Alger, Brian at Kate Collins and my good friend Roger Wilkins over at Woodstock to see who they are thanking for their help. At Luray we have this little line that we read late in the game that says-"Thanks to____________ for feeding the team after tonight's game. If ever you could expand on just 1 line, I know that each team does the feeding of the team in a different manner. New Market has a nice pavilion that they are expanding to feed the team after the game and different folks bring the food. Luray does it's best to have a meal prepared for the team after every home game.

That is where the adventure takes us tonight. We will be hosting the post game meal after the Wranglers host the Braves in round two opener at Bulldog Field. Before tonight that one line was a line and you knew it was important but it takes getting involved in it to really appreciate the time, energy and effort that a person, family or organization puts into one night.

You have to start with the basics-

How many will be attending? Best guess is to plan for somewhere in the area of 40

When will the meal take place?-
This becomes a real life version of Who's on First.
There is where it gets interesting because it goes something like this.

The game starts at 7:30 unless it rains.

What if it rains? Well we wait around until it stops and then we play.

How long is a game? Well the game is 9 innings unless it is tied. If it is tied, we will play until someone wins.

How long after the possibly rained delayed, extra inning affair will the team be ready to eat?
Did I mention that 9 innings could take 2 hours or it could take 3 and 1/2 hours...
Are you avoiding the last question?


Each coach has a team meeting with his players after the game and then they have certain chores they have to perform to get the field back ready for play...

What about the grounds crew, don't they handle the part of getting the field ready?

You haven't been paying attention, have you? The players are the Grounds Crew...

Now you are just making my head hurt- just sum it up and get it over with...
Make enough food for 40+ people and have the flexibility to have it ready somewhere between 10:00 PM and Midnight and then adjust to the fact whether or not they won the game that night!

God Bless all the folks that have prepared a Meal for one of the 11 VBL baseball teams this season!

Instant Classic : Wranglers advance with 4-3 victory over Turks!

By: Scoop Carter

ATV- 60 Correspondent



LURAY- More often than not the deceiding game of a series fails to live up to the expectations but that was not the case Thursday night when Luray defeated Harrisonburg 4-3 at Bulldog Field.



The Wranglers will move forward to the semi-finals to face Staunton in a best 2 of 3 beginning tomorrow night when the Braves make the trip up I-81 but this one was in doubt right up until the final pitch. I would make an argument that this contest held a little bit of everything that a baseball fan could ask for. Let's start with the heroic efforts from the starting pitchers.



Luray skipper Mike Bocock sent Alex Wimmers (Ohio State) to the mound and Bob Wease countered with Garrett Parker (Oklahoma City). Both hurlers went well past the century mark in their pitch count as they were both determined to carry their team to the next round of the post season.



Luray reached Parker for single runs in each of the first three innings but never could deliver the knock out punch. Adam McClain (Memphis) walked to lead off the bottom of the first and was bunted over to second before coming around to score an UN-earned run with Jeff Jefferson reached on the first of five Turks miscues. McClain came around to score the games first run when the throw to first base skipped by Zach Castleberry.



Harrisonburg rallied to tie the game at 1-1 with an UN-earned run of their own in the top of the second. B.J Wheeler reached on an error and came around to score when Wilsisky sent Jefferson back to the warning track in right field. Jefferson made the catch but Wheeler tagged and raced home to tie the contest.



Alex Foltz (James Madison) walked with 2 outs and promptly swiped second base before coming around to score on a double by McClain. Cory Johnson (South Florida) tried to score on the play behind Foltz but was gunned down at the plate to keep the Luray lead at 2-1. Parker once again retired the first two batters in the third inning before Jefferson (Liberty University) connected for his ninth home run of the summer to push the advantage to 3-1 after 3 innings.





RECAP- 1ST 1/3 of game- Home Run, Play at the plate, sac bunts, stolen bases and pitchers trying to pitch around miscues... Just getting started...



Both Parker and Wimmers were lights out during the middle three innings of the contest. Parker held the Wranglers hit less and worked around 2 walks and a third Turks error. Wimmers also posted 3 zeros despite 2 hit batters and a second Wrangler miscue.



Wimmers sailed thru the seventh inning as well as he recorded his eighth strike out for the game and retired Mark Brooks with his 99TH pitch of the night. Wimmers and Parker were locked in a good ole Western showdown and the only question was who would blink first?



Parker had to pitch around a single to Ryan Schimpf (LSU), just the third hit of the evening for the home team, in the seventh inning. Schimpf advanced to second base on a ground out by Jefferson but Parker fanned Austin Markel with his 118TH pitch to send the game into the top of the 8TH inning.



The Turks Chris Murphy (Southern Illinois) sent the 100TH pitch from Wimmers over the wall in right field to trim the lead to 3-2 and Bocock went to his pen after Brett Stewart singled on the 114TH offering from Wimmers.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

The final line for the Buckeye pitcher(114 pitches) was 7.2 innings, 2 runs, 1 earned, 4 hits and 9 K's

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Andrew Salgueiro (South Florida) came in and retired Castleberry on a line drive to Foltz in left field to strand Stewart and keep Luray ahead 3-2 heading in to the bottom of the eighth.
Parker went back out to start the 8TH inning and allowed a one out double down the third base line to Gus Miller. Miller worked his way to third base when pinch hitter Chris Ray grounded out on pitch #133 for the game for Parker. Wease went to his pen and Matt Chafee recorded a strike out to keep the score 3-2

---------------------------------------------------------------
Final Line for Parker...(133 pitches) 7.2 innings, 3 runs, 2 earned, 5 hits, 6 K's
---------------------------------------------------------------
Baez homered to knot the game at 3-3 leading off the top of the ninth inning. The solo home run was the second of the night and eighth of the series for Harrisonburg. Bocock went to his pen one more time and brought in Alex Koronis (Miami). Koronis pitched out of a two on, 1 out jam to keep the score tied 3-3 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning.
McClain ripped a shot to left field that might of had been the hardest hit ball of the night but it was right at Wheeler, just short of the track. C.J Lauriello was next to the dish and was awarded first base after being struck by a pitch. Schimpf followed with a hard hit two hopper to second base that Daniel Heatwole was unable to field cleanly. Heatwole kept the ball in front of him but committed a second error on the play when his throw got away and Lauriello advanced to third base.
One out in the bottom of the ninth inning and runners on the corners and I said the game had a bit of everything so what was left? Schimpf breaks for second with Jefferson in a 1-2 hole and Lauriello heads towards the plate. Harrisonburg guesses correctly and catcher Mike Pericht fires the ball to the short stop as he is breaking in the direction of the pitchers mound.....
The play will go into the books as a game winning steal of home plate as the Turks can't finish the play. For one night, in front of a crowd of 500+ plus, including a kook that decided the crowd should sing together during the 7TH inning stretch, the VBL had a classic!
This is the point where I would normally send you to a link at let someone else tell you about this game to you- but not tonight.... I saw two young men take to the mound and leave everything they had on the diamond, two teams playing for the names on the front of their jerseys, fans that stayed in the game to the last pitch- for this one folks I just don't care what someone else thought! Bravo Turks- it was fun to watch... Congrats Wranglers- You live to play another day!
Peaked over to check out the gamer at http://www.dnronline.com/ and besides the fact that Jefferson was given credit for Austin Markel's two home runs from yesterday, it's not a bad read. It was Markel that connected twice for the Wranglers in game 2 over at Harrisonburg to lead the team to their 8-1 victory.

Haymarket at Waynesboro by GeneralsSignGuyMike

#1 Waynesboro defeats #8 Haymarket 11-5
Written by Michael Kerr

At Kate Collins Field tonight, the fans once again saw a great performane from Jake Cowan from UVA for the Generals with him pitching 7 innings, striking out 12 Senators (6 in a row and 7 of the 1st 9 batters), giving up no runs and 4 hits. He has improved his record to 5-2 and has 56 k's. Way to go Jake and this comes from a diehard UVA fan.

The game was scoreless till the 3rd when the Generals scored 1 run and lead 1-0 and then scored another 4 runs off of Haymarket's starter Dean Wolosiansky. The Generals scored another 4 runs in the 7th (capped off by a 2 run HR by Brandon Sizemore) to lead 9-0. Haymarket did get on the board in the 8th when they put up 5 runs on relief pitchers: Shane Ardoin and Matt Sokolowski. Brad Grove did come in and finish the 8th and 9th. Waynesboro did add another 2 runs in the bottom of the 8th and that finished off the 11-5 win.

I must say Haymarket did put up one great battle against the Generals in the 3 games. Only have 16 players left starting Game 1 of the playoffs, some people would think they couldn't have put up a great battle but believe me the Senators did in each game and gave a battle until the final pitch in Game 3. The Senators got my respect. Way to go Haymarket you gave 100% and I can tell by watching or listening to the radio that you did. Good luck in 2009.

One final note tonight I wasn't able to go to the game but I wanna thank Chuck Harris for giving me inning by inning report on the game tonight, a lot of credit goes to him for this recap of the game.

Now the Generals will be at home to defend their (20-4) against the #6 Covington Lumberjacks, the other seminal has #5 Staunton Braves vs #2 Luray Wranglers.

Here is the box score for the game:

Haymarket Senators 5 8 3
Waynesboro Generals 11 17 0

WP: Jake Cowan (5-2)
LP: Dean Wolosiansky (3-4)

GO GENERALS!!!!

Box Score from Bulldog Field: Wranglers 4, Turks 3

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

HAR

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

3

5

5

LUR

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

4

5

2


1 out when winning run scored

WP- Alex Koronis
LP- Matt Chaffee

Scoring Summary:

Bottom First: Wranglers
-Jefferson reached on error, McClain scored on second error

Top Second: Turks
-Baez flies out deep to right field, Wheeler scores

Bottom Second: Wranglers
-McClain doubles, Foltz scores, Johnson out at plate

Bottom Third: Wranglers
-Jefferson homers to left field

Top Eighth : Turks
-Murphy homers to right field

Top Ninth : Turks
- Baez homers to center field

Bottom Ninth : Wranglers
-Lauriello scores on back half of double steal with 1 out

From the Desk of Ken Hockin: Braves trip Royals 6-1

Sad to say goodbye to the Royals as we will miss reading and admiring the work of Mr. Ken Hockin. Here is his recap of the Winchester vs. Staunton game tonight... Thanks one more time Ken for making it so easy for us to follow the Royals!

The Royals lost the deciding game of a 3 game set to Staunton 6-1. The Braves came out of the gate early again as they scored 3 runs on a home run by Blake McDade after Huffer and Most had singled. That proved to be all they needed for the win. Royals starter John Leonard allowed just one more run while striking out ten in 5 innings.

The Royals scored their lone run in the 2nd as Dudley singled, advanced on a single by Galbraith, and scored on a single by Wes Borden.

Josh McQuade got the win for the Braves.

The Royals finish at 28-19.

Remember you can read more about the game later at www.nvdaily.com

Thursday, July 31, 2008

1 vs. 6 and 4 vs. 5 Tomorrow Night at Waynesboro & Luray!

Waynesboro defeated Haymarket by a final score of 11-5 down at Kate Collins Field to advance to host Covington in a second round best 2 of 3 starting tomorrow night. Covington had the night off after sweeping the Fauquier Gators and the Lumberjacks will travel to Waynesboro for a 7:30 PM contest. I won't go into a deep recap as I know G-S-G- Mike will check in here in a bit...

Staunton advanced to the semi-finals with a 6-1 road victory over the Winchester Royals and I need to thank Royals GM Jim Phillips for swapping scores with us throughout the evening. Rebecca will post Royals Web Master Ken Hockin's recap here in a bit and I figure that Chuck McGill had one of his aces covering the game so you can check that out at www.nvdaily.com later this morning.

I saw that I had an e-mail waiting for me from John Leonard and this a good thing because it lets me know that John and his family had safe travel back from the West Coast! I am sure John is working on his series previews for thew second round as I type... Great to have you back in town!

I will start a story telling you how the #2 seed Luray Wranglers advanced past a game group of Harrisonburg Turks down at Bulldog Field here in a bit....

A Close Game at Bulldog Field

The game ended with a score of 4-3 but it wasn't an easy victory at all for the Luray Wranglers. I'm sure dad will have plenty to say about the balls and strikes but I just wanted to put some thoughts out there.

Playoff Thoughts: A Note to the Turk Nation


This playoff thing is going to be fun, I thought to myself. It pins the best teams in the league against each other, letting them duke it out in best-of series. Luray had a pretty good regular season, tying with Waynesboro for the best regular season record and taking the Northern Division championship. This is going to be fun.

When I heard we were playing Harrisonburg, I didn't think twice about it at first. After the first game, I jokingly said, "Couldn't you guys have at least made it close?"

But after that first game, everything changed. It wasn't just one more game against the Turks, now. We were fighting for the right to stay. Our boys were fighting to sleep another day in their warm, Luray beds. Our boys were fighting to wake up in the Shenandoah Valley a few more times. A loss at Memorial Stadium would send them packing.

So I sat at home, afraid to venture down I-81 to see what could be the Wranglers' last game of the season. Instead, I listened in on the radio. After the game, I could breathe easy. A tomorrow was promised, again. For both teams.

Then tonight rolls around. Dad warns me before the game that no matter what, tonight isn't going to be easy. I didn't take it to heart until I got to the game and Sheli brought up Clay. "It's tough," she said. And I swallowed hard. I kept a smile on my face but it hit me. One of us would be very thoroughly shaken by the end of the night. One of us would have to say "goodbye" to their summer boys after the last pitch was thrown.

I didn't want the game to end. I was torn. I wanted our guys to win but I didn't want the Turk loyal to have to feel the pain that comes from all those last times. This is the last time he'll pitch. This is his last at-bat. This is the last time those boys will wear their Turk uniforms.

So when the initial excitement died down from CJ Lauriello's triumphant run to home plate, I didn't want to take the short walk downstairs. Not where I would be greeted with those faces. Facebook friends forever but I can't look at you knowing the amount of sorrow that must have been filling your hearts as soon as that ball passed the short stop.

I had wanted my team to win. I felt selfish, though, because my desire for the Wranglers to win meant that your season would be over. It had to happen to one of us, right? So I walked by, gave a couple of hugs and hated myself. Hating that inadvertently I had caused you pain. "No, it wasn't me," I said, jokingly. "It was CJ Lauriello."

The beauty of writing is that you can hit the backspace button. You can edit, cut, paste, delete and make it sound perfect. But what could I say to you guys? What could I say to those usually fresh, bright faces whose eyes were now brimming with the tears of knowing there is no tomorrow. When words come out of your mouth, you can't bring them back in, chop them up, paste them back together and make them perfect. They just are. And I don't know if I said the right thing. I don't know what I could've said.

I just wanted to type out that I am so sorry that it had to come down to tonight. To both of our teams playing for the right to stay just a few more days. Give a team nothing to lose, and you'll see how well they can play.

A certain youngster said to me after the game, "Have fun losing your next game." I wanted to say that I hope we win it all, now, so at least the team you lost to was the best.

Both teams played their hearts out tonight. No matter who won, this would've been the same: our boys of summer went out and played the best ball they know how.