By Dwyer Neal NEW MARKET - The Rockingham County Baseball League will host its 2018 season opener on Friday, May 25, 2018. The two teams competing in the Opening Night contest will be the New Market Shockers and the Broadway Bruins. Both teams finished last season with a record of 11-17.
Broadway manager Justin Getz spoke recently about the excitement surrounding his team leading to Opening Night.
"It's going to be an even stronger roster and an even stronger set-up that we have," Getz said at the RCBL Media Day on May 19. "I'm looking forward to it, the guys are looking forward to it. It's all pure excitement right now."
New Market manager Chris Rush has similar feelings about his team this year.
"I like the replacements we have coming in and I like the core we have back from last year," Coach Rush said. "I think we'll do big things again this year."
Friday night's game will resume a series that ended in Broadway's favor last season.
The Bruins and Shockers contested four times last season with Broadway winning three out of the four games.
On July 5 Broadway bested New Market with a close 9-8 win. On July 12 the teams met again at New Market, but the Shockers couldn’t bring home a win, losing 16 - 11.
Broadway hosted New Market on July 19, but playing on the road was no problem for New Market as they swept past the Bruins, winning 6 - 4. In the last contest of the season on July 22, the Bruins answered back to the tough loss they took the previous week with a 6-4 win over the Shockers.
Both of these teams had a fair number of players that entered the 2017 RCBL All-Star game. New Market had three pitchers for the East Division as Nolan Potts, Kirk Messick, and Dakota Orndorff made appearances in the game.
Chase Smallwood was one of three catchers selected for the All-Star game. As well as being on the All-Star team Smallwood was chosen to be a starter for the game and represented the East in the Home Run Derby.
The final New Market player that was chosen was infielder Zach Stiles.
Broadway had three players make an appearance on the West Division All-Star Team. Gavin Kandrick made the team at catcher, earning the starting spot for the West.
Logan Morrison also made an appearance in the All-Star game. One of eight pitchers selected, Morrison was chosen to be the starting pitcher. The final player from Broadway, Boo Dean was selected to represent the West in the Home Run Derby.
The Bruins and Shockers will square off again this Friday, May 25 at Rebel Park in New Market. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.