NEW MARKET- The 2018 Rockingham County Baseball League season began in dramatic fashion on Friday night at Rebel Park. The visiting Broadway Bruins defeated the New Market Rebels behind the powerful arm and smooth bat of Luray, VA native, Logan Morrison. Opening Night started with something you don’t see at every baseball game. Shocker’s starting pitcher John Bentley completed his warm-ups and climbed the hill to kick off the season, however, Broadway leadoff hitter Dan Fry was still making his way to the dugout after arriving to Rebel Park just moments earlier.
The slight delay didn’t seem to upset the timing of Bentley, who worked six innings, struck out six Bruins’ hitters and gave up four hits, one earned run, and one walk.
Neil Dutton and Pat Wingfield drove in the first two runs of the game for the Shockers as they took a 4-1 lead into the seventh inning. It was here where the Bruins took control of the game.
The Bruins would storm back, scoring three runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game at four, including a two-run single by Gavin Kandrick.
Nate Jay lead off the bottom of the seventh with a walk for New Market, followed by a Zach Stiles hit-by-pitch and a walk by Neil Dutton to load the bases with no outs. Enter Bruins’ pitcher, Logan Morrison.
Morrison struck out three straight Shockers with an overpowering fastball and big breaking pitches to swing the momentum in favor of the Bruins. Morrison ended the evening with three shutout innings, striking out five hitters in total.
“Logan was big for us last year. He got us out of a lot of james, he’s a good ball player and a grinder. He’s a bulldog on the mound. Logan comes in and pounds the zone and that’s how he’s going to be all year” proclaimed Bruins’ Head Coach Justin Getz after the game.
With two outs in the ninth, Malachi Simmons drove a double, deep into the left-field corner, off Shockers’ pitcher Kirk Messick. Morrison followed it up with the would-be game winning single, scoring Simmons from second.
Overall, Coach Getz was pleased with that he saw from his young team, saying it was a “good boost for them to start the year off with a win.”
This was the first of three straight games to open the season for the Bruins, but Getz isn’t concerned with how his team will respond. “These guys are coming off long seasons, so they’re in shape. It’s baseball. They love playing it.”
Broadway will look to make it two in a row with a trip to Montezuma on Saturday night.