Saturday, June 21, 2008

Exciting VBL action on a Saturday Nite!

Fauquier and Harrisonburg pushed their contest back to Monday but the remainder of the schedule went on as planned. The weather was hit and miss all over the Valley but here in Luray we only felt a few drops. Haymarket made the trip down I-66 and US-340 for the rematch with the Wranglers. When the teams met up in Haymarket earlier in the season the Senators put 10
runs on the score board and coasted to a 10-1 victory.
Luray was ready for the rematch Saturday night and the Wranglers returned the favor by scoring 10 runs of their own in their 10-2 win. The game was a pitching duel until pushed across 7 UN-earned runs in the bottom of the 8TH inning to remove any doubt of the outcome.
Waynesboro made the trip up I-81 to play at Rebel Park and the Generals also broke open a close game to pull away for a 5-1 victory. The game was tied 1-1 for a good portion of the night but Waynesboro came on late for the victory.
I believe I heard the final of the Winchester- Front Royal clash as 5-3 but I need to research which team won the game while Staunton made THE DRIVE down to Covington. The suddenly red hot Woodstock River Bandits took the night off.
Some pretty cool things happened at Bulldog Field before and during the Wranglers- Sens game. The first came during batting practice when Jeremy Cruz (Stetson) ripped a home run of the score board. The running joke was he hit it so hard that it probably won't work for the game- the laugh was on us when we headed to the press box and you guessed it- No lights on the score board. I am not sure who gets credit for fixing the board but it was back working before the nights first pitch.
The second cool thing happened when Seth (President of the Press Box) McGruffin was able to help out Haymarket Joe with some sound effects to take back to Battlefield High School. Joe is great to visit with and I wish every team in the VBL had a few of him running around. I offered for Joe to stay upstairs and take the honors of reading the Senators starting line up. The energy and passion this man shows for the Sens, baseball and the VBL is contagious.
Ryan Carroll and Seth were both impressed by his effort as was Joni Turner. I am not sure past that but I know my mission is to promote this league and I thought the cross over was a great touch.
The second great touch goes to Mr. Dow McGrady III. Even though Dow and I have never been formally introduced, we have belted out old 70's rock songs together upstairs. I have always searched for ideas that can help the VBL shine and Dow hit a Home Run with his latest idea. Dow gave Seth the Wrangler e-mail to read over the web cast and he was sitting at the computer to relay the messages back to Ryan. The amount of family and friends that chimed in from all over the country (and from both teams) was amazing. Ryan was able to pass on all of
the notes from back home and keep in the flow of the game. I don't know how often you could do it but the immediate results were heart worming and positive. The very idea of this site is to do just that, give people a way to let people back home feel connected. ATV-60 Kudos go out to Dow!
The third treat was looking down from the Press Box and seeing Mr.John Leonard sitting down below. John and a friend made the trip over from Harrisonburg to catch the game and I am already looking forward to his recap to come later. Any night with a few minutes spent with John is a good night. The Haymarket ownership group was in the park and were as pleasent to see as they have been every night I have had the privileged of running into them.
The photos will come up later and I will let Mike or Melissa fill you in on the action over in New Market. Please check out John and his thoughts over at All Things Valley League about the game in Luray. For me, it is time to go deal with 1,000 copies of the Sunday Washington Post. I will check back in when I can call it a morning.

Chris Graham is at it again ! Check out Chris and John Leonard

ATV-60 favorite Chris Graham (Augusta Free Press) strikes again for the Valley League. Chris sits down with John Leonard (All Things Valley League). The two chat for just 11 minutes about a number of topics concerning the VBL we all know and love.

Both links are available on our site- so please jump over and check this out. I am listening to the visit as I type. When the dusts settles on my adventure I will remember the help from Chris and Crystal Graham! Keep up the great work!

Quick Links:
Augusta Free Press
All Things Valley League Blog

Luray at Front Royal in Pictures

Sorry about the lessened quality of some of these pictures. We had some technical difficulties earlier on with our battery situation but I think we still came away with some good shots of the game and some fans, as well.
Welcome to Downtown Front Royal
There was 2 shows in town last night
Ohio State Righty Drew Rucinski
Travis Smink leading the cheers
Clay Kelly eyeing a fly ball
Cory Johnson in the field
Buck taking in another game
Good fun at the Ball Yard
Smink coaching first base for the Wranglers
Check out the bat speed on this one!
Look close and see the ball-coming or going ?
A look around the "Bing"
Clay Kelly heading to left field
The fair is in town!
A different kind of double header
Frank Florio and Joni Turner
Clay just before his single in the 8TH
Smink being Smink !
There is the end result of the single

A sac bunt moves Clay to second
Jesse Henry and Clay Kelly
Luray scores !
View of the score board and outfield wall
Stop- you are making me dizzy
Chris Rey walking in the dugout
I was trying to capture the beauty of the Bing
More wide angle shots of a neat place to play ball!
The view from behind home plate @ the Bing
A must see for VBL baseball
A great deal of work went into this page- I promise
The Wranglers celebrate Frank Florio's HR in the 9TH

One proud Papa after Frank's Home Run

Saturday Afternoon in the Valley- Day #22 & Counting/ The UN-defeated Skipper

The winning skipper and the happy fans !
Greetings from Luray....

It is hard to believe that we are starting week #4 tonight. It really does seem like yesterday when we started this adventure over in Woodstock back on 5/31/08. I have been able to go 21 for 21 on getting to a game and on all but one occasion, the game was played. I must admit I have been rained on a couple of times and by the way our puppy (Diamond) is shaking right now my guess is we will be getting rain again later today. She doesn't shake unless there is bad weather in the area.
Haymarket will be making its first trip down to Bulldog Field later today. The Senators spanked the Wranglers by a 10-1 score when the two teams played up at Battlefield High School.The Sens coming to town is cool because that means Haymarket Joe will be at the ball park and everyone should get to be around Joe for at least one night. The game will also give me a chance to visit with Bernie & Company (The Fab 4), the new owners of the team. The chance to visit with the owners and staff is so much easier when their teams are on the road.
Last night I touched on a pair of conversations that took place on Friday night and I wanted to share part of one of them now. I have known Bill Turner for 3 or 4 years now and I don't think I have ever seen the majority owner of the Luray nine anymore stoked/geeked/excited (pick your own term) than he was last night after the Wranglers win over Front Royal.
I mentioned that Linda and Rebecca had to head back to Luray a little early to make their slotted time to walk with the group from Curves in the Relay For Life. This left me in search of a ride back down US-340 South and Bill offered a seat on the team bus. We had the 30 minute ride back down to Bulldog Field to discuss the events of the evening and here are some of the notes from the talk. I will do my best to use exact quotes from Bill but I was riding on a curvy highway in the dark.....
10 Questions for Skipper for a Night Bill Turner:

1.Where would you rank this experience in all of your years around the game of baseball?
Bill- This would be at the top of the list. I have been around the VBL for a number of years
and had a number of rolls but wearing the uniform and managing the team for game was something I will never forget.

2.How did the experience compare with what you thought it would be like?

Bill- I can honestly say that it is 100 times harder than I imagine. You really have no idea
how much goes into managing a game.

3. Have you had a chance to discuss the victory with Mike or does his cell phone work out
on the lake (It was a fishing trip, right?)?

Bill- I hope to be able to call him when we get back to Luray and give him an update on the game.The cell phone service is hit and miss between Front Royal and Luray.

Side Note- There is a 2 mile pocket just North of Bentonville where the cell phone kicks back in and right on cue, Bill's cell phone rings and it is Mike. The two exchange quick stories and Bill gets an update from Omaha- LSU is tied 3-3 in the 8TH against UNC. Luray has a player coming from LSU once they are either eliminated or crowned champs. UNC would later win the game on a 9TH inning Grand Slam.

4.What part of the job was harder than you thought it would be?

Bill- There is not a second that you can't be thinking about the game. The entire time you are
trying to play what if- you are having to think one or two batters ahead the whole 9 innings.

5. Now that you have a "W" under your belt, do you have any plans to manage again?

Bill- No, I am pretty sure I will retire at 1-0. I have to at least be tied for the highest winning percentage in the history of the league!

6. How much advice did Mike give you before the trip up to Front Royal?

Bill- We talked about a few things about righties and lefties and match-up situations but other
than that he pretty much left it in our hands. Randy Smith and Jimmy Hamilton are both very knowledgeable baseball coaches and the three of us were ready to manage the game.

7. Are you sure that you won't be tempted to let Mike go "fishing" again so that you can join Bob Wease as an owner/manager?

Bill- I will say that I have a new found respect for what it takes Bob to do this every night of the season. But no, I will tell Mike that is why I pay you the Big Bucks!

8. Describe the emotions of the eighth and ninth innings when the game went back and forth..

Bill- That was a big stolen base by Clay Kelly to help give us the lead but they (Cards) answered right back with a tying run. We answered back with a big rally in the top of the ninth but it still got interesting after that.

9. Take me through the long fly ball off the bat of Casey Albanese to end the game...

The first thing I saw was Josh (2ND baseman-Wright) bouncing up and down. I wasn't sure if
the park would hold it or not but once Austin Markel settled underneath it I was able to breathe again. I can't tell tell you how tight I was when that ball was in the air.

10. This one wasn't as much as a question as a recap- 20 years or so ago, a tradition was created for the winner of the Super Bowl- two or three of the players from the winning team would pour a bucket of Gatorade over their coaches head. Jordan Yost and Travis Smink were more than happy to oblige, giving Skipper Bill Turner a shower he will never forget!


The tale of the Tape- How many miles for our journey

Chris Graham asked me the night we met him again down in Staunton how many miles did we
travel for our journey? We still had to get back to Luray for our 11Th stop and I didn't have the #'s added up yet. Please remember that each person will have a different total based on where they live in the Valley. I believe the least miles one could drive could possibly be in New Market but that is another brain teaser for people smarter than myself.
Here is a look at the actual door to door mileage from our house here in the southern part of the town of Luray:

Day 1- Woodstock River Bandits (5/31) 34.5 miles each way = 69.0 miles
Day 2- Waynesboro Generals (6/1) 65.5 miles each way = 131.0 miles *
Day 3- Fauquier Gators (6/2) 43.0 miles each way = 86.0 miles
Day 4- Front Royal Cards (6/3) 26.0 miles each way = 52.0 miles
Day 5- Covington Lumberjacks (6/4) 132.0 miles each way= 264.0 miles *
Day 6- Winchester Royals (6/5) 50.5 miles each way = 101.0 miles *
Day 7- New Market Rebels (6/6) 15.0 miles each way = 30.0 miles
Day 8- Harrisonburg Turks (6/7) 35.5 miles each way = 71.0 miles
Day 9- Haymarket Senators (6/8) 59.5 miles each way = 119.0 miles *
Day 10- Staunton Braves (6/9) 60.0 miles each way= 120.0 miles *
Day 11- Luray Wranglers (6/10) 2.0 miles each way = 4.0 miles

*= Over 100 Miles Round Trip

Total needed to make the adventure- 1,047 miles from South Luray
Miles Per Gallon in Mercury 23.2/ Gallons of Gas - Just over 40
The experience- PRICELESS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3 VBL Double Headers Now on Tap/ Update from Omaha

I was scrolling down the remainder of the VBL schedule (My wife still has to make 3 more parks and is only home on the week ends) and I noticed three different times where there are now double headers on the page. In the good old days before life in MLB became all about the $$$, it would not be out of the ordinary to see a DH pop up once or twice on a Big League teams schedule. But now a days the only DH you will see is a Day/Night double dip where the cost of admission can be charged twice.
Double Headers are great (except when they take place in the Lubbock,Texas sun and 95 degree heat for 7 hours and then you can't walk for all of the sunburn- see notes from DBU @
Texas Tech) for the fans. Now you will have 3 chances to catch a 4:00 PM / 7:30 PM double header on these following days:

June 28TH- Staunton @ Fauquier
July 5TH- Fauquier @ Covington (Day before All Star Game in Covington)
July 26TH- Luray @ Fauquier (Day before last day of season)

Checking in on the College World Series-
It took two days to play the game but UNC finally eliminated LSU when Tar Heel catcher
Tim Federowicz hit a ninth inning Grand Slam to give the ACC school a 7-3 over the Tigers.
Georgia (2-0) will face Stanford (2PM-Sat) while UNC will face Fresno State (2-0)(7PM-Sat) in the next set of games.
Georgia or Fresno State advance to the best 2 of 3 Championship series with a single victory where UNC or Stanford must win two straight to advance

Drama, Drama- We don't want no Drama:

I can't believe what I saw happen. In between putting the title to this post and starting the first line- Placido Polanco just hit a solo home run off Heath Bell with two outs in the top of the eighth inning to tie the game at 2-2 to once again leave my hero Greg Maddux in search of victory #351.
Maddux gave up a lead off home run in the first inning to Curtis Granderson (9TH) before shuting down the Tigers. His line for the night thru seven innings- 1 earned run, 5 hits, 4 K's and 1 walk. Maddux had tossed 85 pitches for the night when skipper Bud Black went to the bench for a pinch hitter (Tony Clark). With his ERA lowered to 3.17 for the season, once again the win was left in the hands of the Friars bullpen.
Bell retired the first two Tigers easily before Polanco hit his 3RD Home Run of the season on a check swing. Are you kidding me? Greg will remain at 3W-5L-and the number of no decesions goes up to 8. Blown saves for the bullpen for Maddux alone is now at 6 for the season. Once again I will try and remember that there is no crying in baseball.....

Now lets get to the point I was getting ready to make before Polanco and Bell ruined my night.
Another great night of Valley League baseball all across the Valley. Mike checked in to let me know that his Waynesboro Generals fell to the Fauquier Gators by a final score of 4-3 or 5-3.The VBL hotline reports that Woodstock exploded for 11 runs in the River Bandits 11-2 victory over the visiting Staunton Braves. We hear that Covington defeated the red hot Winchester nine by a score of 6-2. No score avialable yet from Harrisonburg @ Haymarket. That leaves us Luray @ Front Royal.

Before I start on my recap on the game of the night for me, I have to tell you that while I typed the first portion of this that San Diego scored 4 runs in support of Bell- trust me I am not making this up. Bell will end up with a win for his efforts unless the SD pen can allow 4 ot 5 runs to score.

The game with the Wranglers and the Cardinals held more twist and turns than any roller coaster in the good ole USA. Luray majority owner Bill Turner made his managerial debut after 13 years of being affileated with the VBL. Turner (wearing #55) was pressed into service after skipper Mike Bocock took an un-scheduled fishing trip. Bill wasn't the only person trying to fill big shoes as Mr.Neal was covering for a vacationing Greg Brill on the Cards web cast. I was there in hopes of cheering on our "son" for the summer- Clay Kelly of Dallas Baptist University.
The game got interesting right from the start when Clay (batting 2ND) hit the second(fast ball) pitch he saw from Cards starter Tucker Pryor (North Florida) off the wall for a double. Clay came around to score and Luray was up 1-0. Front Royal answered with what I would call a typical Bob Brotherton run. Chad Cunningham (Austin Peay) singled of Drew Rucinski (Ohio Stae) to lead off the inning and Brotherton had #2 hitter Casey Albanese bunting. Albanese laid down a great bunt that Rucinski was forced to field himself and then race to the bag. Cunningham was running full speed and easily went from first to third on the play.
Jesse Henry scored Cunningham on a ground out to tie the score at 1-1 at the end of one inning but then a pitchers' duel broke out. Rucinski and Pryor matched zeros for a long time as the score remained tied at 1-1 until the top of the eighth inning ....

This just in - Final Score... San Diego 6 over Detroit 2 (Bell gets the win). The quote from Greg tomorrow will be something like... "It's not about me winning, it's about us winning."

Clay led off the top of the eighth inning with a single back through the box and Cory Johnson followed with a great sac bunt to move Clay to second base. On the first pitch to Jeff Jefferson Clay broke to third and slid in safely with a stolen base. Austin Markel hit a 2-1 pitch for an RBI single to give Luray a 2-1 lead. The lead would be short lived as Front Royal once again played agressive baseball to tie the score.
With one out Brotherton went to his bench and sent pinch hitter (local hero-Stephens City/Sheppard) Andrew McCormick to the plate. Turner countered by bringing Alex Wiesner (Wake Forrest) to pitch and McCormick won the battle with a single. Brotherton went to his bench again and sent pinch runner Rob DeVeney (Rhode Island) into the game. DeVeney quickly stole second base and came around to score on a single by Albanese off reliever Andrew Salgueiro to tie the game again at 2-2.
Matching runs in the first, matching zeros in the second thru seventh and again matching runs in the eighth sent the game into the top of the ninth. Jeremy Cruz (Stetson) was playing on an injured knee and tried to do his best Kirk Gibson impersonation. Cruz crushed a pitch to the deepest part of the park (just right of straight away center) but it hit the top of the netting so Cruz ended up with a Ground Rule double for his efforts. Frank Florio (Stetson) picked up his Hatters team mate by launching a 2-run home run to give the Wranglers a 4-2 lead.
Brian Dice followed with another shot that also caught the top of the net and went for a Ground Rule double and he came around to score on a RBI single by Adam McClain to push the lead to 5-2. A three run lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning would be safe and clear of drama-right?

Another quick update- I just went to the Turks home page in search of a H'Burg @ Haymarket final and the sight had been updated...

Harrisonburg 7 12 2 (6-12)
Haymarket 9 10 2 (6-10)

Back to the bottom of the ninth inning- Linda and Rebecca had to leave to make it back in time for their slotted time at the Relay for Life but I felt a 3-run lead was pretty safe (unless the pen has SD on their hats..). Bennet Davis (Elon) crushed a lead off Home Run to pull the home team to within 5-3 and David Wilson reached on shot to the short stop. Bradley Ray followed with a walk and both runners advanced on a wild pitch by Wrangler reliever Matt Boylan. Front Royal had the tying runners on second and third base with no outs. Boylan (Brown) settled down to get Garrett Maines on a 4-3 ground out that scored Wilson to trim the lead to 5-4 and still just one out. Boylan rared back and recorded a much needed strike out on just three pitches to keep Ray at third base. DeVeney, who stayed in the game after pinch running, walked and stole second base again.
The tension was mounting quickly for both benches and things got even more interesting when Cunningham walked to load the bases. Albanese came to the plate to square off with Boylan with the game on the line. I was standing next to Frank Florio's father (Frank) when the crack of the bat caught our attention. Albanese crushed the pitch to the same part of the park where Cruz had sent his minutes earlier. If it goes over the net it is a Grand Slam, into the net a game winning Ground Rule double or if Markel could track it down it would be a long scary out and whether it was A, B or C- it was going to end the game. Markel played the ball correctly and found the wall then the ball and made the game ending catch on the warning track in the deepest part of the Bing. Ladies and Gentlemen- what a ball game!

Post game notes- Jordan Yost and Travis Smink (Travis coached first base all night) gave Bill Turner a Gatorade bucket (Ice water) shower to the UN-defeated manager (1-0 lifetime). I had two great conversations that will turn into stories over the week-end. One with Mr.Frank Florio about his son and upcoming baseball book and the other with the recently retired Manager of the Wranglers, Mr.Bill Turner. Please check back for what I hope to be great reads.

A special thanks goes out to Mrs. Joni Turner for having batteries to lend us after our camera batteries gave out. Rebecca left the camera with me for the end of the game so I will be anxious to see the quality level of my shots....

Gotta go deliver some papers and mumble to myself about another Maddux no-support/ no-decesion! Take care....

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Night Lights- Around The Valley Style

Friday night is here and the slate for June 20Th goes like this:

The Luray Wranglers take the 25 mile journey up US-340 North to play ball at the
Stadium. The "Bing" will be the site for the Front Royal (8-8) vs. Luray (9-6) tilt that leads off the five game schedule.
Winchester (11-4) wins the Long Drive contest as the Royals make the trip down to Covington
to battle the Lumberjacks (9-6). Winchester was voted into 13TH place in the first poll released for all of the summer leagues- you can view the entire poll by going to the VBL site.
Waynesboro will travel over to Fauquier in a game between two teams with a record of 9-5. The Generals and the Gators are tied for the second best record behind Winchester.
Harrisonburg (6-11)will head up I-81 and then over on I-66 (right at 100 miles park to park)
to face Haymarket Joe and the Senators (5-10). This game will be a rematch of the outing when we made our tour stop in Harrisonburg. I believe the Senators won that one 4-1.
The fifth contest on the schedule for tonight has Staunton (8-7) heading up I-81 to face the River Bandits in Woodstock (4-11). Bruce Alger & his New Market nine (6-11) are idle tonight.
The other ball games of note tonight are (1.) UNC and LSU will try and finish the elimination game out in Omaha. The Tar Heels took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first before rain and lightning caused a delay of over 5 hours before they finally gave up for the night.
The second game I will be watching out for will begin at 10:05 PM. That is when Greg Maddux and the San Diego Padres host the Detroit Tigers out on the coast. Maddux is 0-2 over his last 7 starts despite having an ERA of 2.95 during that stretch. The Tigers will be sending a rookie out to make his second start of his career. Eddie Bonine has an ERA of 10.12 but the Padres offense tends to help all opposing pitchers lower there ERA this season.
Grab your jacket and Grab a friend- It Is Time To Catch Some Valley Baseball- 76 minutes until 1ST Pitch at a park near you

New Market @ Luray - Post Game Notes

I would like to start out by noting that one of the scores missing from last night turned out to
be a 1-0 Woodstock victory over Harrisonburg. That gives Donn Foltz and Stu Richardson two wins in their last three games to pull the River Bandits to within 1 game of the logjam for the eighth and final playoff spot.
The other score missing from last night was Staunton(8-7) 7 over Haymarket(5-10) 2. There were a pair of shut outs tossed last night so it will be interesting for me to check in later at John's site to see the pitcher of the day candidates.
Now to the action last night up(the park is located 2.1 miles north of the house) at Bulldog Field. The summer thunder storm that rolled thru the area about 2 hours before game time made the 7:30 start questionable but the Wranglers were able to get the field ready in time and the first pitch came @ 7:32 PM. The storm also caused a drop in the temperature at the park that was drastic enough that I was prompted to announce the Wranglers had a special on sweat shirts.
There was a nice crowd despite the storm and in an attempt to make the Rebel fans feel at home the attendance was announced as 18,362. Plenty of excited baseball fans on both sides of the bleachers for the start of the action. The starting pitchers were Travis Smink (only VBL guy with 3 wins) and Jim Birmingham (Coastal Carolina). A great match up for us here @ ATV-60 because I have had the pleasure of spending part of an evening with Jim's parents (They were there again last night, down from New Jersey) and Smink (VMI) is this sites resident class clown.
Luray scratched out single runs in the first and second inning but Birmingham escaped further damage when he picked up a much needed double play ball after the Wranglers had the bases loaded and no outs. New Market answered with a run in the third and Luray scored two more in the bottom of the fourth to make it a 4-1 contest.
Both pitchers were working around the hits (U of FLA's Riley Cooper went 3 for 3 to start the game) and staying out of trouble until things became a little strange. Smink was up with his pitch count and came out prior to the seventh inning. The clock was reading 9:07 PM when the teams went into the top of seventh inning. We were thinking about an early ending to the night when things became a little spooky.
Yes- even spooky by New Market vs. Luray standards. I need to start out by saying that the top of the 7TH inning lasted 38 minutes. At no point in my baseball journeys do I recall a 1/2 inning that appeared to be endless. The top of the seventh included a little bit of everything and it all started when Ryan Miller(Rider) relieved Smink to start the inning and it ended when Alex Wimmers (Ohio State) struck out Andrew Hannon to retire the side.
In between, the Rebels plated 4 runs on 2 hits and 2 errors and 2 runners were left on base. The rally started when Cooper collected his third straight hit and it picked up steam from there.Cooper stole second and moved to third on a throwing error on the play. One out later Miller was able to get Kevin Dietrich to ground out to second base, giving the Rebels a 2ND run for the game but giving the Wranglers a 2ND out for the inning.
Mike Mooney (U of FLA) coaxed a walk off Miller and that brought Mike Bocock out of the dugout looking to make a pitching change. Eric Hinkle (Long Island U.) took the ball from his skipper and play resumed. Nick Stanley (NCSU) prolonged the inning by reaching on an eror to give the Rebels runners on the corners. Zack Maxfield (Fla Gulf Coast) came to the plate and that is when things got interesting. Hinkle worked the count on Maxfield to 2-2 and pitch #5 was really close to the plate. If you were on the New Market side I am sure it didn't appear all that close and if you were on the Luray side I'm sure it was obviously strike three. Yes- I am riding the fence on the call. Maxfield turned on the next pitch and his shot hit the top of the wall down the right field line and bounced over for a three run home run.
New Market was now leading 5-4 and the inning was still going on.The next batter, Murray Watts walked and it was time for Bocock to head to the mound to try and settle down Hinkle. When the time came for the talk to break up and the home plate ump said something to the skipper-well lets just say the following conversation was animated. I don't want to dwell on the outburst and be like the fan that only watches Nascar to see a wreck. The game was a great game without the ejection so I will leave that part at this-Ump says "How is it going Mike?" and Mike says "The last call on Maxfield, I beg to differ."
Back to the action- Jeff Toth was next to the dish and he also walked to give the Rebels two runners on base once again. I glanced at the clock on my cell phone and started to wonder if the
inning would ever end. Another pitching change took place and Wimmers finally ended the HALF inning at the 38 minute mark!
The next 7 outs were recorded quickly and quietly but with one down in the bottom of the eighth inning Jeff Jefferson (Liberty U.) homered to tie the game at 5-5. Mr.Jefferson had made the trip up from Lynchburg to see his son play again and he picked a great game to watch. Earlier in the game Jefferson had made a great sliding catch in right field and would later figure into the end of the game.
The Rebel faithful were also able to let me know that the Mother of Robert Seymour (Penn) had made the trip to see her son pitch and I was able to welcome her to Bulldog Field. I will do my best to announce any and all parents that are in town to see a game in Luray because that is one of the things the league is all about!
Back to the action- Dietrich picked up the only base hit from the bottom of the eighth inning until the bottom of the 11TH as the relief pitchers really buckled down. Wimmers went 4.1 innings and surrendered just the Dietrich single. The Rebels bullpen went 4.2 innings and gave up just 2 runs/ 1 earned.
Jefferson was back at it leading off the bottom of the 11TH inning with a single to left field and then slugger Jordan Yost bunted Jefferson over to second base. Austin Markel sent a shattered bat ground ball to the right side of the infield that scooted out to right field and Jefferson slid home with the winning run for Luray.
Bruce Alger and Diane Buckley met out at home plate to exchange the beautiful trophy that is attached to the series and then it was time to close the book on Chapter 2 of the Greatest Series in the Valley!

Battle of the Mountain Round 2 in Photos

Pictures from tonight. Sorry they're so Smink-heavy but I'm just trying to make Juliana feel like she was really there to see him pitch :)

Skipper Mike eyeing up the Wranglers
Adam McClain at the dish..

Adam McClain about to go deep

Josh Wright, Tanner and McClain celebrate his home run

Smink hard at work

What a beautiful sunset over Bulldog Field

Hey- I recognize that puppy!
Monte and Andy hard at work...
Markel scored the Wranglers 2ND run in the 2ND

Bruce Alger and Bill Turner share a moment

A view from the Press Box

Mrs.Charlie (Melissa Dodge) collected stamp #8 last night!

Mr. & Mrs. Birmingham watching their son pitch

Another shot of Mr.Smink at work

The Birthday Girl!

A meeting of the minds @ the mound..

Logan Turner enjoying the game from the front row..

How about that Zach Maxfield and his 3 run Homer

Tanner cleaning up a bucket of balls

Another shot of the 29 year old Birthday girl

Mr. Bruce Alger getting stamp #11 of 12 !!! Way to go

Time to shake hands with the other team

Setting up for the tennis ball toss

Fun at the old ball yard after the game

Jefferson after the game.