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By Mitchell Broughton
Eight-time pennant winner and 2013 RCBL Hall of Fame inductee Bobby Wease will make his return to the County League as an assistant coach for the Broadway Bruins. The Bruins, who finished the 2019 season 14-14, look to utilize Wease’s experience and recruiting talent to put a competitive roster on the field for the shortened 2020 season.
The former player-manager started his career with the RCBL at just 13 with Linville, and after 10 years playing in the Valley Baseball League (VBL) returned to have stints with Linville, Twin County, and Grottoes. In his RCBL career, Wease claimed eight pennants and four series championships. The 1986 Manager of the Year was widely recognized for his abilities both as a player and a coach. Since 1990, Wease has owned and managed the Harrisonburg Turks of the VBL, who announced back in April that the league’s 2020 season would be cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
While disappointed about the cancellation of the Turk’s season, Wease is excited to come back to the RCBL and to still have baseball being played in the Shenandoah Valley. Due to the cancellations of the VBL and many other summer leagues across the region, he expects the level of play and the talent of the RCBL to be some of the best it’s ever been. Wease plans on bringing in a pitching duo from James Madison University, Matthew Kleinfelter (RHP) and Liam McDonnell (LHP) who also played for Wease on the Turks last summer. He said a lot of VBL players have been in contact with him asking to play this summer in the County League.
Broadway is slated to open up at Buck Bowman Park against the Clover Hill on Saturday June 27 at 7:30 pm with league legend Bobby Wease in the dugout.
The Rockingham County Baseball League's media staff for the 2020 season will consist of five interns from area colleges and universities.
Josiah was born & raised right here in the Valley. He was a 4 sport athlete all throughout his life, and is currently attending Blue Ridge Community College. Josiah plans to transfer to JMU in the near future to study Sports Broadcast Journalism. He has known about RCBL since he was young and is very excited to be a part of the team this season!
Mitchell Broughton is a rising senior at James Madison University pursuing a degree in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication with a minor in Sports Communication. Born and raised just outside of Richmond, Mitchell grew up around and loving all sports. He has been and is still currently working as a social media intern for Barstool Sports and their affiliate brands.
Leyton is a Freshman at Bridgewater College majoring in Communication, Technology, and Culture. Leyton comes to the RCBL with two years’ experience with the Valley Baseball League and has also served as the PA Announcer at Wilson Memorial High School for three years. Leyton is also a member of the tennis team at Bridgewater College. He is excited to get to work with a league with such a rich history as the RCBL.
Justin Berry is a rising senior at James Madison University majoring in Sport and Recreation Management. He completed his practicum and has continued to work with the Boys & Girls Club of Harrisonburg and Rockingham for the past 2 years. He is also a member of JMU’s Golf Club. In his spare time, he loves to play intramural sports with friends. His focus with the RCBL will be on enhancing the fan experience.
Adam Harnish returns to the RCBL after working with the league during the 2019 season. He graduated from Eastern Mennonite University in 2019 where he served as the broadcaster for the baseball team. He is currently employed as a history teacher in Page County, focusing on World History and the American Civil War.
Megan Phelps is a senior at West Virginia University with a major in Agribusiness Management. She will be graduating with two minors, Event Planning and Communication Studies. She was raised in Harrisonburg, VA and grew up loving baseball and tennis. She has been the Vice President of the club tennis team at WVU for the last 2 years and is excited to be working with the RCBL this summer.
By Matthew Atkins
BRIDGEWATER - Nobody is more hyped up than the Bridgewater Reds are right now. A team that lost most of its core over the offseason is now one win away from making a third straight trip to the RCBL Finals.
After winning a close 11-9 game one against Broadway on Tuesday, Bridgewater came out firing on all cylinders Wednesday night as the Reds cruised to a 9-1 win in game two. Tucker Garrison turned in a fantastic performance on the mound, pitching eight innings and allowing just two hits while striking out nine batters.
The Reds bats provided Garrison with room to work as they combined for 14 hits throughout the night. It took a while to get going, but once they did, they didn't stop.
Broadway went up 1-0 in the top of the first and held on to that lead for a while. It looked like the game would be a pitchers' duel, but the Reds had other plans.
Brett Tharp, Derek Shifflett, Grey Sherfey and Corbin Lucas all came around to score in the bottom of the fifth as Bridgewater took its first lead of the ballgame. A three-run sixth inning extended that lead even further and put the pressure on Broadway.
The Reds would go on to score one run each in the seventh and eighth innings to cap off the game.
Lucas, who received his MVP plaque prior to the game, went 2-for-5 on the night with two runs scored and an RBI. Will Clift notched four hits, going 4-for-5 with two RBIs.
The Reds have now won four straight to begin the 2019 playoffs and they don't show any signs of slowing down. Broadway will have to be at its best in game three tomorrow night if the Bruins want to keep their season going.
Bridgewater and Broadway get the night off tonight before resuming their series tomorrow at Broadway High School. The other semifinal series between Clover Hill and Elkton continues tonight at Buck Bowman Park. Tonight's game three is scheduled for a 7:30 first pitch.
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