Stay up to date with news straight from the rcbl staff
By Matthew Atkins
The Rockingham County Baseball League has always been a family affair for Lisa Hart. Since her grandfather brought an RCBL team to New Market in 1964, her family has been involved in the league in some form.
Now, after serving as the president of the New Market Shockers since 2004, Hart is ready to take the top post in the league. At a recent RCBL board meeting, Hart was voted in as the next commissioner, becoming the first female commissioner in the league’s nearly 100-year history.
“I guess there is no way to avoid being labeled as the first female commissioner, but it is truly my hope that I am remembered for what I do for this league first and foremost,” Hart said. “I feel the Board of Directors voted me into office based on my abilities and dedication to the league and I hope that is what I am known for as Commissioner.”
Starting a new venture is familiar territory for Hart. Her grandfather, RCBL Hall of Famer Bobby Strickler, founded the Twin County Reds in 1964. Hart was born a few years later, and has been around the league ever since.
“From the time I could stand I was with my grandfather at the ball park. I would ride with him as he drug the field and our responsibilities grew as we did,” Hart recalled. “We chased foul balls, kept score in right field with the old wooden and metal score board, sold gate tickets, worked the concession stand and so on. “
The team folded in 1989, and New Market was without RCBL baseball until the summer of 2004, when Hart took on the challenge of bringing another franchise to town.
“When a group of local players wanted to bring a team back to New Market Karl [Olschofka] told them they had to get permission to use the franchise rights from my grandfather and he graciously approved,” said Hart. “Our family came along with it and we are all Charter Board Members for the organization. I have been the only person to hold the office of President for the Shockers since it re-entered the league back in 2004.”
The Shockers have relied on Hart’s leadership throughout their 17-year tenure. Although she’s taking on a new league-wide role, they won’t have to worry about finding someone to take over her duties.
“Shuffling duties between the Shockers President and RCBL Commissioner could be challenging but luckily I have a great team beside me in New Market and a great family supporting me,” Hart said. “My husband and daughter were probably more excited than I was when the RCBL Board elected me Commissioner. I don’t plan to step down as President for the Shockers but that will really be up to the Board of Directors when they elect the 2021 officers in January.”
The past two commissioners before Hart had no prior position with an RCBL team. Mike Bocock had recently retired from a Hall of Fame managing career in the Valley Baseball League, while Randy Atkins had been a lifelong fan of the league with no connection to any current team. For fans who are curious how Hart will separate her duties between the league and the Shockers, she says there’s no need to worry.
“I have always had the attitude that without the league there are no franchise teams, so we always have to look at the big picture when making decisions as a board,” Hart said. “You can’t put blinders on and vote solely on the best interest of your team, you have to consider the league and what is best for the future generations.”
“Sometimes that is a hard pill to swallow especially for the smaller franchises like the Shockers, but if we all work together as a league we will all grow as teams.”
As for her goals during her tenure as commissioner, Hart is dedicated to honoring the league’s storied history.
“My goal as Commissioner will be to continue the advancement of the league and its member teams,” Hart said. “My focus will be on the rich heritage of this league and providing our community with a family atmosphere at our ball parks. I would also like to see the league and member teams do more activities with the younger ball players in our community.”
Hart believes that the local talent pool for baseball players has taken a hit ever since soccer was introduced into schools in the valley. She hopes that the RCBL and its teams can work with other leagues in the Valley to promote youth baseball and try to grow the game in the area.
While the Valley Baseball League is a summer home to current college players, Hart hopes that the RCBL can become a breeding ground for future collegiate athletes. With a local Division I program in JMU, Hart thinks the RCBL can provide college hopefuls with the exposure and experience they need.
While she is excited for her first year at the helm of the league, Hart knows that there will be some challenges ahead.
“Next year will be another year of changes especially with MLB announcing the new format of the Appalachian League. It is not clear yet how that will affect our recruiting especially inside our recruitment boundary, which may need to be extended to accommodate the pending competition,” Hart said. “Also with the VHSL running their spring sports deep into June, this is sure to present some obstacles our scheduling committee will need to overcome.”
“Our season normally starts Memorial Day weekend but that may change in 2021. We have several teams that share fields with High Schools and/or Valley League teams and these factors could push our opening day back later in the summer for another condensed season.”
But after the way the league was able to have a successful 2020 season, Hart is confident they can get through whatever 2021 brings.
“I think last year was an eye opener for the RCBL member teams both on the field and behind the scenes. Teams had to get creative with fund raising to keep things going and managers got to see what opportunities they could with the expanded rosters,” said Hart. “There was a shift in the RCBL across the board.”
“It will be interesting to see if we can capitalize on the momentum of such a successful 2020 season and keep those fans coming back to our parks in 2021. I really think we can as long as we are producing competitive baseball on the field and a family fun environment off the field.”
With Hart taking over the role of RCBL Commissioner, Randy Atkins will be moving into a newly-created Board position overseeing the league’s media relations and interns for the summer of 2021.
By Mitchell Broughton
Simply put: it’s been quite the year for Broadway’s ball club. The last time that the Bruins could call themselves RCBL Champions was 1938. More than 80 years ago, when a gallon of gas cost ten cents and you could attend Harvard for $400 a year, was the last time the trophy was in Broadway’s grasp. That long drought was snapped last night when the Bruins completed the series sweep over the New Market Shockers, winning game four 10-5 at Rebel Park.
None other than Chase DeLauter was named the Finals MVP after batting .600 with a double and three home runs. In this series, DeLauter was walked ten times (most of those being intentional) but scored nine runs including the game-winner in the bottom of the tenth inning of the third game this series. DeLauter joins prestigious company alongside Tyler Bocock (2018) and Shane Banks (2001) as one of the few players in league history who have claimed the regular season and championship series MVP honor. As far as I can tell, DeLauter is the first player to win Rookie of the Year, MVP, and Championship Series MVP in the same season. Last night, he went 1-for-2 with three runs scored, three walks, and a handful of great defensive plays in center field.
Since the playoffs started and DeLauter began receiving less and less pitches, the Bruins have been patiently waiting for someone to step up and capitalize on the free runner on base each time DeLauter has been intentionally walked. Last night, it was the catcher Travis Reifsnider who answered that call. In the top of the first, with two runners on, Reifsnider took a Joel Smith fastball off the wall in center field for a standup RBI double. He was faced with a similar situation the very next inning, this time with bases loaded. Ahead on the count with two outs, Reifsnider patiently waited for the right pitch and found another prime fastball and capitalized on the offer. A golf-style swing carried the ball off the scoreboard at Rebel Park for a grand slam, his first home run of the season — putting Broadway up 7-0 very early on. Travis finished the game with five RBIs and had his best game of the season at the plate.
John Judy and Trent Abernathy seemingly clinched the game for the Bruins after New Market showed signs of a late-game surge. In the top of the ninth, up 7-4, Judy singled, scoring Tyler Ault. The next at-bat, Abernathy raked a double down the left field line that emptied the bases, scoring two more insurance runs for Broadway. In total, eight of the nine starters in the Bruins’ lineup recorded a hit last night.
On the mound, Broadway confidently put their faith in last year’s pitcher of the year John Judy. The EMU Royal started off a little slow, but soon enough found his rhythm. In six innings, Judy struck out five and allowed only three hits and two runs. Relieving him in the seventh was JMU lefty Liam McDonnell, and another EMU pitcher Bailey Hall came in in the ninth to close out the game. McDonnell and Hall combined for three strikeouts, seven hits, and no walks.
New Market actually out-hit the Bruins last night, but struggled to get runs across. The Shockers had an excellent season after exiting last year’s playoffs in the first round at the hands of Elkton. If they stay together, this team will be a problem for the rest of the RCBL in the next couple years. They left the field last night with their heads held high, making it to the championship series for the first time since the team’s formation in 2004. The Shockers finished their 2020 campaign with an overall record of 19-13, the best in the team’s recent history.
This season, Broadway broke many droughts. After winning their first playoff series in some time last season, Bruins’ president and general manager Bryan Duff was highly confident in his players and staff entering this season back in June. When I spoke to him he said that it was championship or bust for this team. “With the players we’re bringing in, the veterans returning, and the staff we’ve put together, I have no doubt that this team can bring home a title,” Duff told me earlier this summer and boy was he right. From my eyes, the Bruins were the most impressive all-around team in the RCBL this summer. New players like Chase DeLauter, Travis Reifsnider, and Josh Jones added depth and power to their offense that was rather lacking in 2019. On the mound, they brought in pitcher of the year Adam Riggleman alongside Liam McDonnell and Anthony Piccolino, who were both fantastic out of the bullpen. Their returning veterans John Judy, Tyler Ault, Bryce Strawderman and Matt Meiser showed that this team had the experience to go the distance. First year manager Chip Abernathy proved he could manage a team with loads of talent at the highest level this league has seen in some time. And it doesn’t hurt to have an all-time great in Bobby Wease in the dugout too. This team was special, you could tell every night that their fanbase knew that this was going to be a great season, and what a season it was. Pennant winners, league champions, MVPs, and many All-RCBL team members brought a once dominant ball club back to its roots of dominance and they now find themselves on top once again.
Congratulations to the Broadway Bruins, your 2020 RCBL Champions and to all the teams, players, and coaches on a fantastic 2020 season. In a world full of current chaos, at least we got the chance to have baseball back in the Valley, and what a memorable season it was.
FINAL: Broadway 10 New Market 5. Win: John Judy (5-0). Loss: Joel Smith (0-2).
By Mitchell Broughton
Sunday night’s RCBL Finals contest between the Broadway Bruins and New Market Shockers contained a couple highly anticipated matchups. First it was the pitcher’s duel between 2020 Pitcher of the Year Adam Riggleman of Broadway and All-RCBL selection and strikeout leader Darrell Thompson of New Market. Two of the top (if not the best) arms in the entire league going head to head in the championship series.
Riggleman threw six innings for the Bruins. In his outing he only struck out four but held the Shockers to just three hits and two runs. Brett Whiteman came in for the Bruins in the seventh and was brilliant on the mound with six strikeouts and only two hits given up. Thompson, on the other hand, threw all nine regulation innings for New Market where he recorded 14 strikeouts, seven walks, and five hits. If this is the last time we see Thompson this season, he has 123 strikeouts in 10 games this year.
New Market opened up the scoring last night when Henry Delaverge hit a line drive to the wall and sped around the bases for a triple in the fifth inning. He scored the next at-bat when Matt Moon grounded out on the first base side of the infield. The very next inning Riggleman walked two out of the first three batters to put runners on first and second for the Shockers. Pearce Bucher singled past the glove of Bruins second baseman John Judy and would score Frankie Ritter and put men on second and third with just one out and a 2-0 lead. However the Bruins defense would make some plays to get the lead runner out going to home, and Riggleman struck out the last batter of the inning to contain the would’ve been big inning for New Market.
In the bottom of the seventh, Chase DeLauter led off for the Bruins, expecting to be intentionally walked following his three-home run performance on Thursday night. To everyone’s surprise, New Market coach Nolan Potts gave Thompson the signal to proceed with the meeting that everyone came to Eagle Field to witness, the most dominant pitcher against the most dominant batter. First pitch, Thompson blew a fastball past DeLauter for a strike. The next pitch was a breaking ball that DeLauter got contact with, breaking his bat, and singling up the gap into center field. After advancing to second off a wild pitch, DeLauter scored the first run of the night for Broadway after John Judy singled to left field. Judy would score himself a couple batters later when Natty Solomon hit a single of his own, tying the game up at 2-2.
Both teams had opportunities in the eighth and ninth innings to score but the defenses for each team played extremely well last night. Calvin Pastel entered the game on the mound for the Shockers in the bottom of the tenth inning. He struck out Tyler Ault and the Shockers intentionally walked DeLauter for the fourth time of the game to put a runner on first. Following an error by Pastel and an overturned call at first base, DeLauter advanced to third with two outs and John Judy up to bat. In game one we saw a similar situation where Judy was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the ninth with two outs to walk in the winning run for Broadway. With Judy at the plate and a 1-1 count, Pastel threw a low breaking ball that got through the legs of the catcher and Chase DeLauter would come home to score the walk-off run for Broadway. Words were exchanged by both sides following the winning score, and both dugouts cleared thankfully without any major physical altercation. It’s safe to say that emotions will be high tonight at Rebel Park when the Broadway Bruins have a chance to secure their first RCBL championship since 1938.
FINAL: Broadway 3 New Market 2. Win: Brett Whiteman (4-2). Loss: Calvin Pastel (1-1).
By Mitchell Broughton
In the second game of the championship series between top-seeded Broadway and second-seeded New Market, six home runs were hit between the two sides. Broadway claimed five of those long balls in part of a12 hit, 11-4 win to take a 2-0 series lead.
The Shockers struck first in the bottom of the second when Henry Delavergne pulled a two-run homer over the left field bullpen wall to give New Market an early lead.
Broadway would have an answer, and what an answer they had. In the top of the fourth Tyler Ault opened up the Bruins’ scoring with a homer of his own over the plywood signage in left-center field. The next batter was Chase DeLauter, whose power has been recognized around the league based on the number of times he’s been walked, threw hands out and a low and away fastball that carried over the fence as well—back to back home runs to tie the game. Travis Reifsnider reached second base after Shockers catcher Matt Moon overthrew the first baseman following a dropped third strike. A John Judy single brought in Reifsnider and gave the Bruins a 3-2 lead.
Broadway’s offense would not stop. Chase DeLauter showed why he was the unanimous MVP with two more homers, making that three for the night in three straight at bats. Most teams in this year’s playoffs have elected not to pitch to him, and those who do most of the time wind up regretting it seconds later when the ball soars over their heads.
Matt Meiser went 3-for-3 with a three run home run as well late in the game. Tyler Ault in addition to his fourth inning long ball, almost did it again but instead landed himself on second after a ground rule double. DeLauter, Ault, and Meiser all had three RBIs.
JMU lefty Liam McDonnell was fantastic at the stripe for the Bruins. In six innings he struck out ten while just allowing five hits and that two-run homer to Delavergne. Former JMU lefty Colton Harlow got the start for New Market. Harlow recorded six strikeouts in five innings but gave up seven hits and five earned runs.
Broadway needs just two more wins to claim the title and will host the next matchup of the best-of-seven championship series tomorrow night at Eagle Field, where first pitch will be thrown at 7:30. Most are expecting a highly touted matchup on the mound between Pitcher of the Year and ERA leader Adam Riggleman for Broadway and All-RCBL pitcher and strikeout leader Darrell Thompson for New Market.
FINAL: Broadway 11 New Market 4. Win: Liam McDonnell (4-1). Loss: Colton Harlow (1-2).
By Mitchell Broughton
Heading into the bottom of the eighth down 4-1, the Broadway Bruins rallied in the final two innings to win the first game of the RCBL Finals against the New Market Shockers 5-4 in walk-off fashion.
The top two teams in the regular season opened up the game with a run each in the second inning. New Market scored first after Ty Bennett’s sacrifice ground ball drove in Pearce Bucher from third. In the bottom half of that inning, Broadway’s Matt Meiser hit a double in the right-center gap to move Cole Holsinger to third. Holsinger would score following a wild pitch to tie the game.
After going three innings without a base runner, New Market would rally off four hits in a row in the top of the sixth inning. Grant Thomspon tripled off the right field wall to score both Frankie Ritter and Nick Goode. Thompson himself would cross home plate the next at-bat when Pearce Bucher singled down the third base line to increase their lead 4-1.
The New Market starter Reilly Owen had done a good job of containing RCBL MVP and Rookie of the Year Chase DeLauter. In his first three plate appearances, DeLauter was intentionally walked after a 3-0 count and flew out two times following some incredible defensive plays. In the bottom of the eighth, left-handed pitcher Michael Prosperi was on the mound to relieve Owen when DeLauter turned on an inside fastball that pushed the limits of JMU’s Eagle Field. DeLauter’s stand-up double placed runners on second and third with no outs. The next batter Travis Reifsnider would single up the middle to score one and put the Bruins on first and third. Prosperi was relieved by Ethan Laird after that hit; Laird would strike out one and walk the next batter, creating a bases loaded situation with just one out and the tying run standing on second. Matt Meiser would hit a grounder to first for an expected inning-ending double play, but New Market second baseman Nick Goode overthrew the would-be final out of the inning, allowing DeLauter and Reifsnider to score the tying runs.
John Judy, last year’s Pitcher of the Year, came in to pitch in the top of the ninth for Broadway. The EMU ace struck out two but most importantly kept the game even heading to the bottom of the ninth.
In the final half-inning of play Bryce Strawderman singled, followed by a stand-up double off the wall by Tyler Ault, putting runners at second and third with no outs and the most dangerous hitter in the RCBL up to bat, Chase DeLauter. To nobody’s surprise, DeLauter did not see a pitch and was intentionally walked to load up the bases with one out. Travis Reifsnider, in a similar situation he saw in the previous inning, battled to a full count before swinging on a Laird slider to strike out. That put the game in the hands of John Judy, who had struck out three times looking that game. Judy fouled off a fastball and watched an inside slider get called as a strike. Knowing he couldn’t wait on anything anymore, Judy dug in the batter's box and wore a Laird slider which walked in the winning run. That’s right, a walk-off hit by pitch was the hit that Broadway needed to secure the first win of the championship series.
New Market started Reilly Owen threw six innings for the Shockers. The Shenandoah right-hander struck out six, walked five, and allowed four hits and a run. His relievers, Prosperi and Laird, combined for a little less than three innings with three strikeouts, three walks, four hits, and four runs.
For Broadway they put the ball in the hands of Trent Abernathy to start the game. Abernathy also threw six innings, striking out six and gave up five hits and four runs. His reliever, Jacob Bell, threw two innings where he struck out three while allowing just one hit. Three Bruins at the plate doubled last night—Ault, DeLauter, and Meiser. Ault and Reifsnider finished the game tied for a game and team-high two hits.
The Bruins take their series lead up I-81 to Rebel Field in New Market tonight for game two for a 7:30 first pitch.
FINAL: #1 Broadway 5 - #2 New Market 4. Win: John Judy (4-0). Loss: Ethan Laird (1-1).
By Leyton Pullin
On Monday night the New Market Shockers defeated the Grottoes Cardinals 4-2 to advance to the RCBL Championship series behind Darrell Thompson’s complete game gem with 13 strikeouts.
New Market would come out of the gate aggressively at the top of the 1st as both Frankie Ritter and Nick Goode would reach on singles off of Cardinals starter Tucker Garrison. Pierce Bucher would break the scoring open with a 2 RBI double to score Ritter and Goode to give the Shockers a 2-0 lead in the 1st. Both starters would start to settle in after the first as Darrell Thompson would not allow another hit after the 1st inning until the 7th. Tucker Garrison would also go all the way til the bottom of the 5th before allowing another runner to advance to scoring position until Nick Goode walked then scored on a Grant Thompson double off the right field wall to make the score 3-0 for the Shockers.
Darrell Thompson would continue to deal on the mound for New Market until he got to the top of the 7th as Dylan Nicely would work a full count walk to reach followed by Keegan Woolford who would reach on a fly ball that was dropped in the outfield. Austin Nicely would follow with a deep fly ball to right field which was caught by Thompson but allowed Dylan Nicely to advance to 3rd base with 1 out. Jacob Zoller then delivered with a line drive to right center field for a single that would allow Dylan Nicely to score to put the Cardinals on the board.
The Shockers would respond quickly in the bottom of the 8th as Eric Watkins came on in relief for Tucker Garrison. Ty Bennett would reach on an infield hit and advance to 2nd base on a miscue by Watkins. Matt Moon would then deliver on cue with an RBI single to score Bennett giving the Shockers the insurance run to push the lead out to 4-1.
Grottoes would not go down quietly in the top of the 9th. Keegan Woolford would step up to the plate with one out and would absolutely crush a solo homerun to close the gap back to within two at 4-2. Austin Nicely followed Woolford with a hard grounder ball up the middle that would bounce off Thompson’s glove on the mound to allow him to reach safely. Jacob Merica stepped in next and hit a tough dribbler down the first base line but would be thrown out at first but would put Austin Nicely at 3rd base. Jacob Zoller would step in with Grottoes down to its last out but would not deliver as New Market would win on a final score of 4-2.
For Grottoes they see their 2020 campaign come to an end but definitely got a better result than they had a year ago in 2019 where they only won 9 games in the regular season. The Cardinals had much of the same stars coming in handy for them this year including one big one in the power heavy bat of Keegan Woolford who will go down as hitting a homerun that no one saw land in his final at bat of 2020 along with ending the season with 2 games in a row with a homerun.
For New Market they become the first team from the town of New Market to make it to the RCBL finals since 1973 when the Twin Count Twins won the RCBL crown. On that team was, now Broadway Bruins assistant coach, Bob Wease.
New Market made it to the finals riding their star pitcher In Darrell Thompson who crossed the 100 strikeout mark on the season in their game 5 win over Grottoes. The Shockers also have had an outstanding defensive outfield that has not let them down through the year. A player to keep your eye on in the championship series for New Market is going to be Frankie Ritter. The New Market shortstop is coming off a series where he hit .316 and as New Market Manager Nolan Potts said, “When [Frankie] goes we go.” When it comes to Broadway it’s no secret who to watch for in the Player of the Year Chase Delauter who has been nothing short of an offensive machine this season with 15 home runs and he’s hitting a jaw dropping .518 on the year, regular and postseason combined. The big strength for Broadway however has been their bullpen. Manager Chip Abernathy has been confident in his bullpen all year claiming it to be one of the deepest in the league.
Game 1 of the RCBL Championship series will be on Wednesday night at 7:30 pm at JMU’s Eagle Field. If you can’t make it to the ballpark the game will be broadcast on 92.1 FM 550 AM WSVA.
By Mitchell Broughton
There was a near-capacity crowd last night at Eagle Field on the campus of James Madison University to witness the win-or-go-home battle between the Bridgewater and Broadway — where the Bruins won game five 1-0.
Taking the mound for his second start of the semifinals, 2020 RCBL Pitcher of the Year Adam Riggleman was outstanding. The right-hander threw six shutout innings where he struck out seven while only allowing four hits and one walk. In the seventh inning Riggleman handed the ball off to last year’s Pitcher of the Year John Judy. The EMU star stormed through the final three innings. Judy struck out five of the last nine batters including the final out in the top of the ninth to put another capitalization on a historic season for Broadway.
The lone run of the ballgame was Broadway’s Kevin Rush in the bottom of the third. Rush reached on an error by the Reds’ shortstop Brett Tharp. Two batters later it was Tyler Ault who got his revenge from game four, where he flew out to end the game with bases loaded. Ault turned on a Derek Shifflett fastball that bounced off of the left field wall for a stand up double, which scored Rush from first base. Ault finished the game with two hits and perhaps the biggest hit of the playoffs for Broadway.
Derek Shifflett took the mound for his fourth appearance in the last five days and pitched a complete game for the Reds. Shifflett threw all eight innings and kept Broadway to only three hits. His fatigue was definitely apparent though, he struggled to find the strike zone often but the Reds’ defense came through to keep the game close throughout the contest. Shifflett also had two hits. His catcher, Jonathan Sexton also had a pair of hits including a double but the Reds could never get anything going against Broadway’s arms.
Broadway will face the winner of Grottoes and New Market, who play tonight in a winner-takes-all game five at Rebel Field. This is the first time Broadway has been to the championship series since 2004; they have not won a title since 1938. Bridgewater finished with an overall record of 15 -14.
FINAL: Broadway 1 Bridgewater 0. Win: Adam Riggleman (5-1). Loss: Derek Shifflett (5-3). Save: John Judy.
By Mitchell Broughton
Facing elimination down two games to one in the semifinals, the Bridgewater Reds survive one more day as they hold Broadway’s comeback just short of success, defeating the Bruins 7-6 last night at Montezuma Ruritan Park.
The Reds held a 4-3 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth inning as they came up to bat. Jonathan Sexton led off taking the first pitch into the gap for a stand up double. He scored the next at-bat after Jacob Grabeel singled to right field. Two batters later, after Brett Tharp was put on after getting hit by a pitch, Derek Shifflett singled into the right field gap, scoring Grabeel and Tharp before getting thrown out trying to advance to second. Bridgewater increased their lead to 7-3 heading into the final inning.
In the top of the ninth the batting order favored the Bruins. Leading off was the MVP, Chase DeLauter, who was intentionally walked — the eighth time this has happened during the playoffs. Travis Reifsnider would get his first hit of the ball game, a single that would score DeLauter from first to cut the deficit to 7-4. Two batters later, after John Judy was walked, Cole Holsinger singled over the second baseman’s head to score Reifsnider from second. Natty Solomon would get a hit to load up the bases with no outs. A couple batters later it was Anthony Piccolino’s single that would drive in another run for Broadway after relief pitcher Derek Shifflett was just a little late trying to get the force out at the plate. With bases loaded a two outs, Tyler Ault, who was the only Bruin who did not record a base hit in the ball game, took the first pitch deep into the opposite field but the line drive was caught by Reds’ right fielder Corbin Lucas at the warning track, putting an end to Broadway’s ninth inning rally.
Both teams recorded 13 base hits during the contest. Bridgewater was led by Derek Shifflett, who went 3-for-4 last night with a double, two RBIs, and two runs scored himself. Chase DeLauter was 2-for-3 for Broadway with two doubles and one run scored. Strawderman, Holsinger, and Solomon each had a pair of hits as well, but the Bruins left 14 runners on base. They haven’t had trouble getting runners on, but have struggled recently getting runs to score. In the last three games Broadway has left a total of 43 runners stranded on base, compared to Bridgewater’s 22.
Tanner Moyers, the Reds’ starting pitcher, had quite the performance in his second start of the series. Moyers, in five innings, struckout five, walked one and only allowed two earned runs against one of the most lethal offenses in the RCBL. Brett Whiteman and Liam McDonnell combined for eight innings on the mound for Broadway, striking out five, walking four, and letting up 13 base hits.
Tonight there will be a deciding game five at JMU’s Eagle Field. The winner moves on to the finals while the loser goes home and is eliminated. It is a survive and advance situation for both teams. Recently, the Bruins have won both meetings at Eagle Field but the Reds have been one of the only teams to beat Broadway at their home field this season when they won 10-4 back on July 15. Both semifinal series are going to a fifth game, and both games will be electric.
FINAL: Bridgewater 7 Broadway 6. Win: Tanner Moyers (1-3). Loss: Brett Whiteman (3-2). Save: Derek Shifflett
By Leyton Pullin
The Grottoes Cardinals would pick up a huge win to keep their season alive 10-1 over the New Market Shockers on Thursday to force a winner take all game on Saturday.
Austin Nicely would get the start for Grottoes and Joel Smith would get the nod for the Shockers. Both starters would cruise through their first 2 innings of work as both would allow only one hit a piece. Grottoes would break the scoring open in the 3rd ending Smith's scoreless stretch. Jacob Dansey would single thwn Austin Nicely would reach after him as he was hit with a pitch. Catcher Dylan Nicely would ten walk to load up the bases for the always dangerous Keegan Woolford. Woolford would continue his hot streak with a Grand Slam to give the Cardinals a 4-0 lead.
New Market would try and respond in the top of the 4th as they would take advantage of one of the few base runners they’d get all night. Nick Goode would draw a walk and then would steal second base. Pierce Bucher would then hit a hard ground ball at Cam Irvine in which the former Hokie couldn’t come up with. Goode came across to score to put the Shockers on the board, 4-1.
In the bottom of the 5th Jacob Dansey would spark another scoring opportunity as the former Blazer would single and then score on a Keegan Woolford sacrifice fly out. That would be Woolford’s 5th RBI of the night to give the Cardinals a 5-1 lead. The Cardinals Austin Nicely would then take over for good. Nicely would retire all but 5 batters he faced only allowing 2 hits in his complete game on the mound for the Cardinals. Nicely also would strike out 11 including a stretch in the 6th, 7th, and 8th where he would strike out 6 in a row. Nicely would add to his pitching stats a 3 run homerun in the bottom of the 8th to score Jacob Dansey and Gage Wood who each added an RBI single earlier in the inning to stretch the score out to 10-1 which would be the final score allowing the Cardinals to pick up the victory to force a Game 5.
The Cardinals saw great production throughout their lineup led by Keegan Woolford who went 2 for 2 with a Grand Slam, 5 RBIs, and 2 runs scored. Jacob Dansey also added a 3 for 4 effort with 1 RBI out of the 9 hole in the lineup. The big star of the night for Grottoes was Austin Nicely who picked up the win in a complete game. When asked about his strategy seeing the Shockers line up once this week already Nicely said, “We had to mix it up and try to keep them on their toes.”
Grottoes Manager Tim Nicely said the line up would be a challenge for Game 5 but said, “We’re just taking it one game at a time.” Game 5 will be played on Saturday night at 7:30 at Rebel Field in New Market with the winner moving on to the RCBL Championship Series.
By Mitchell Broughton
Down two games to none in the semifinal series and facing elimination, Grottoes pulled off the unlikely at Rebel Park — coming back to defeat New Market 5-2 in 11 innings.
CJ Morton came in for relief in the tenth inning, but it was his struggles in the 11th that lost them the game. Morton walked three batters in the top of the final inning, allowing three runs to score for Grottoes.
New Market, for most of the evening, was led by All-RCBL left hander Darrell Thompson. In nine innings, Thompson struck out 12 batters and gave up only two hits and one earned run. In the playoffs so far he has recorded 41 strikeouts in a little over 21 innings pitched.
Tucker Garrison and Eric Watkins pitched last night for Grottoes. Garrison had four strikeouts and eight hits over seven innings, but Watkins saved the game and secured the win for the Cardinals. Watkins, in four innings, had seven strikeouts and only two hits in a scoreless outing.
Three Shockers each had a pair of hits last night: Nick Goode, Pearce Bucher, and Ty Bennett. Goode tied the game up at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning after hitting a two-run homer into the left field bullpen. New Market had multiple opportunities to add to their lead late in the game, but could never seem to get runs across. They finished with ten runners left on base.
Cam Irvine had the lone RBI for Grottoes with an early solo home run. He finished the game with two hits and two runs scored himself. Grottoes was out-hit by New Market 10-5 but their bullpen proved to be superior, giving them the win.
Game four will be played tonight at Shifflett Field down in Grottoes. The Cardinals need to win to stay in and force a game five; if New Market wins, they advance to the finals.
FINAL (11): Grottoes 5 New Market 2. Win: Eric Watkins (2-1). Loss: CJ Morton (0-1).
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.