The RCBL end-of-season awards have been finalized for the 2018 season. Coaches around the league voted for the MVP, Pitcher of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year based on performance during the summer.
Putting together a phenomenal two-way season, Bridgewater shortstop/pitcher Tyler Bocock has been named the 2018 MVP. Bocock led or was near the top in almost every offensive category this season, batting .423 with six home runs. His 36 RBIs were the most in the league.
In addition, he earned four wins on the mound while finishing the season with a 2.00 ERA, fourth in the league. Bocock’s performance helped lead the Reds to a 21-7 regular season and a second-place finish in the West Division.
In his first year in the league, Elkton’s Kris Lalk has been named Pitcher of the Year. The Colorado native led the RCBL in strikeouts with 87, tying the Pointstreak-Era record set by Nolan Shaffer in 2013.
Lalk’s highlight of the season came when he struck out 16 New Market batters on the way to earning a 6-1 victory on July 8. He pitched six games this season in which he struck out 10 or more batters. Lalk finished the season with an ERA of 2.39, good for seventh in the league.
Lalk wasn’t the only first-year player to have a good season. Dan Fry of the Broadway Bruins has been named Rookie of the Year for 2018. Fry batted .316 for Broadway this year while hitting four home runs and driving in 26 runs.
A product of Allegany College of Maryland, Fry stole eight bases this season, third in the league. One of Fry’s many highlights was a 3-for-5 performance in Broadway’s 15-13 comeback win over Bridgewater on July 2. Fry hit the game-winning double for the Bruins before making a spectacular catch in centerfield to end the game.
Earning his second-straight honor, Clover Hill’s Chris Cofer has been named Coach of the Year. Cofer guided the Bucks back to the pennant and a 23-5 overall record. Over the past two years, Cofer has helped the Bucks improve from their 2016 season.
This year, the Bucks had one of the deepest pitching staffs in the RCBL. Clover Hill led the league with a 3.46 ERA and was second behind Broadway with 250 strikeouts on the season. Nick Corbin, Corey Armentrout and Eric Yankey all finished the season with four wins for the Bucks.
The RCBL has announced nominees for its four annual awards. Over the next week, coaches will vote for the MVP, Pitcher of the Year, Coach of the year and Rookie of the Year for the 2018 season.
Clover Hill leads the way with five overall nominations, including three for Pitcher of the Year. Bridgewater and Broadway each have two nominees, while Stuarts Draft, New Market and Elkton have one nominee each.
Brian Bocock and Tyler Bocock of Bridgewater are both nominated for MVP. Brian finished the season batting .407 with five home runs and 29 RBIs. Tyler hit .423 on the year with six home runs and led the league with 36 RBIs. The cousins were the Players of the Week for the final two weeks of the regular season.
New Market’s Nick Goode is the third nominee for MVP. Goode led the league in batting average this season, hitting .465 in 21 games. Goode also led the league in on base percentage (.543) and slugging percentage (.767). The Shockers’ outfielder had 10 doubles and two triples on the season along with four home runs.
Corey Armentrout, Kevin Chandler and Eric Yankey of Clover Hill are all nominated for Pitcher of the Year. Chandler led the league with a 1.63 ERA over 38.2 innings while Armentrout was tied for the lead in wins with a record of 4-0.
Yankey was one of the most dominant relief pitchers this season, picking up two saves for the Bucks while also earning four wins. Yankey’s 0.42 ERA and 29 strikeouts over 21.1 innings earned him a nomination for Pitcher of the Year.
Joining the Bucks’ trio is Elkton newcomer Kris Lalk. Lalk finished the season with a record of 1-4 and one save, but was one of the most unhittable pitchers in the league. His 87 strikeouts tied the Pointstreak-era record set by Nolan Shaffer in 2013. Lalk’s ERA of 2.39 was in the top 10 in the league.
Chris Cofer of Clover Hill and Justin Getz of Broadway are the nominees for Coach of the Year. Cofer guided the Bucks to their second-straight pennant and improved over last season by finishing the year with a record of 23-5.
Getz put together a team of young talent in Broadway that finished the season 18-10. The Bruins vastly improved from last season and nearly matched their total of 21 wins from 2014-2017, as pointed out by the RCBL’s Nick Stevens.
One of those young players from the Bruins is Dan Fry, who is nominated for Rookie of the Year. Fry finished the season batting .316 with four home runs and 26 RBIs. Joining him on the list is Stuarts Draft’s Will Hass, who batted .341 with four home runs and 19 RBIs. Hass had a breakout three home run game against Montezuma earlier in the season.
Rounding out the nominees for Rookie of the Year is Matt Larson of Clover Hill. Playing 23 games at catcher for the Bucks, Larson batted .329 on the year with 17 RBIs. The rookie backstop also stole six bases for Clover Hill.
The nominees have been sent to the coaches for voting and winners will be announced sometime in the coming weeks.
GROTTOES- Behind a strong pitching performance from Adam Dofflemyer and big night from the bottom of the batting order, the Grottoes Cardinals became the first team to advance to the semi-finals of the 2018 RCBL playoffs.
With a 6-3 win on Monday night in front their home crowd, the fifth-seeded Cardinals completed their sweep of the four-seed Broadway Bruins.
Broadway struck first as starting pitcher John Judy scored on a Kevin Rush fielder’s choice in the top of the fourth, breaking up what had been a pitcher’s duel between Judy and Dofflemyer.
Grottoes responded in the bottom half of the inning with a four-run explosion, including a three-run double by Matt Curry. Curry upped his playoff RBI total to six in just two games.
Judy would try and pull his Bruins back in the eighth, driving in Bryce Strawderman with an RBI single and later scoring himself, pulling Broadway to within two, heading into the ninth inning
The comeback attempt would eventually fall short as Michael Wilhite came out to work a quick final frame and secure the series-clinching victory for the Cardinals.
Adam Dofflemyer was credited with the win after giving up just one run on four hits in his five innings of work. Meanwhile, the eight/nine hitters of Logan Grimm and Matt Curry combined to go 3-for-6 at the plate with two walks, four runs driven in, and a run scored.
The loss ends an impressive 2018 season for the Broadway Bruins. The Bruins finished the regular season with an 18-10 record, finishing third in the extremely competitive Western Division.
With a roster of young talent led by Head Coach Justin Getz, the Bruins are poised to come back just as strong in 2019. Their 18 wins this season nearly matched their entire win total from 2014-2017 (21 wins).
The rest of the playoffs will continue tonight, with every series but New Market/Elkton up for grabs.
BROADWAY - The first night of the RCBL playoffs played out just as expected, nothing is guaranteed. In last night’s matchup between the four-seed Broadway Bruins and five-seed Grottoes Cardinals, the Cardinals emerged victorious, taking game one by a score of 8-5.
Josh Pittman took the mound for the Cardinals, giving up three earned runs on eight hits, while striking out seven Bruin hitters. Pittman continued his quietly dominant season in the RCBL, leading his team one game closer to the semi-finals of the RCBL playoffs.
He received a welcomed early advantage in the top of the first inning as All-RCBL slugger Keegan Woolford slugged a three-run home run, setting the tone for this game early on.
The Bruins slowly mounted a comeback in the third and fourth innings against Pittman. Bryce Strawderman drew a bases loaded walk, followed by an RBI-single by veteran Kevin Rush to bring the Bruins to within one.
Matt Meiser would tie the game in the fourth inning, scoring on a passed ball on a Brady Duff strikeout.
After significant struggles throughout much of the regular season, Cardinals’ infielder Matt Curry continued his impressive streak at the plate, driving in a three-run double in the top of the sixth, giving the Cardinals a lead they would refuse to surrender for the rest of the evening.
Jacob Merica and Logan Grimm added a little insurance in the eighth inning with RBI-base hits, however, Brady Cockerham didn’t need the extra help, striking out the side in the ninth inning to slam the door shut on game one.
Grottoes is now just one game away from advancing the semi-finals. They will look to lock up the series tonight, as the series moves to Grottoes for game two (weather permitting). Assuming Cole Holsinger takes the ball for Broadway tonight, expect quite a show in Grottoes as the veteran-lead Bruins attempt to claw their way back to even the series.
The members of the All-RCBL team have been announced for the 2018 season. Members of the media met earlier this week to vote on the team, which was revealed on Saturday morning’s episode of the Play Ball show on ESPN 106.9 and 1360 WHBG.
Bridgewater and Clover Hill lead the way with four players from each team being honored. Bridgewater has four position players on the team while Clover Hill has three pitchers and one position player.
This year’s team features four players who were honored last season as well: Tyler Bocock, Drew Easter, Ryan Cooper and Corey Armentrout.
A number of statistical leaders were named to this year’s All-RCBL team. Home run leader Keegan Woolford made the team as a designated hitter. Nick Goode was named as an outfielder and currently leads the league with a .470 batting average with one game left in the season.
Regular season strikeout leader Kris Lalk and ERA leader Kevin Chandler were each named to the team as pitchers. Lalk tied the Pointstreak-era record of 87 strikeouts in a season for the Elkton Blue Sox this year.
Rookie Dan Fry was named to the team in his first season in the RCBL. Fry finished the season batting .316 with four home runs and 26 RBIs. Joining him is veteran Kevin Rush, who batted .292 with 14 RBIs in what is likely his final season.
Stuarts Draft veteran Ryan Cooper was named as a utility player after batting .416 with one home run and 16 RBIs for the Dbacks this season. Cooper’s main position is first base, but he also saw time at every infield position and outfield this season.
EMU product Kyle Mathews made the team as an outfielder, batting .378 with six home runs and 20 RBIs on the season. Mathews leads the Montezuma Braves in nearly every offensive category this season.
Below is the full list of players named to the 2018 All-RCBL team.
Catcher: Tyler Mahone, Bridgewater First Baseman: Brian Bocock, Bridgewater Second Baseman: Josh Wright, Bridgewater Shortstop: Tyler Bocock, Bridgewater Third Baseman: Kevin Rush, Broadway Outfielder: Kyle Mathews, Montezuma Outfielder: Nick Goode, New Market Outfielder: Dan Fry, Broadway Outfielder: Drew Easter, Clover Hill Utility: Ryan Cooper, Stuarts Draft Designated Hitter: Keegan Woolford, Grottoes Pitcher: Corey Armentrout, Clover Hill Pitcher: Kevin Chandler, Clover Hill Pitcher: Kris Lalk, Elkton Pitcher: Eric Yankey, Clover Hill
The end of the 2018 regular season is shaping up to be just like the beginning. Games that were originally scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday have been pushed back two days due to rain coming through the area this week.
Tonight’s schedule features two games around the league. Elkton travels to Bridgewater for an interdivisional matchup with the Reds. The New Market Shockers will play the Montezuma Braves at Montezuma Ruritan Field, although the Shockers will serve as the home team in the contest. Friday will see four games played on the last day of the regular season. Elkton will be on the road again as the Blue Sox take on the Diamondbacks at the Diamond Club in Stuarts Draft. Broadway will close out the season with a matchup against the Braves in Montezuma. New Market and Bridgewater will face each other at Ray Heatwole Field in their last game of the season.
The Grottoes Cardinals play host to the Clover Hill Bucks at 7:30 on Friday night in a critical matchup for the Cardinals. Tonight is Grottoes’ last game of the regular season and the Cards are just half a game behind New Market in the East Division.
The Cardinals need to win tonight’s game and need the Shockers to lose their next two games in order to win the division. If the two teams are tied in the standings when the season ends, the division champion will be decided by head-to-head performance during the regular season. New Market leads Grottoes three games to one in the regular season series.
With the final games of the season being pushed back, the playoff schedule has been changed as well. As of right now, the playoffs will begin on Sunday, July 29. The first round is a best of three series that will be played on consecutive nights.
Clover Hill has already clinched the one-seed in the playoffs and the Bucks will take on the Braves in the first round. The rest of the playoff matchups will be determined following the conclusion of the regular season.
With two games left in the season, Elkton, Stuarts Draft, Bridgewater and Broadway all have chances to improve their playoff seeding.
The 2018 All-RCBL team will be announced this Saturday, July 28 on the Play Ball show on ESPN 106.9 and 1360 WHBG. Karl Magenhofer and Mike Bocock will announce the players at each position who have been named to the All-RCBL team for their performance during the 2018 season.
Saturday morning’s show will be broadcast live from the Hall of Fame Sports Grill at 2264 Clover Hill Road in Dayton.
GROTTOES- Just when you start to question whether or not the Grottoes Cardinals can make noise in the upcoming RCBL playoffs, they put in a performance like they did last night.
In a home matchup against the 15-8 Broadway Bruins, the Cardinals proved victorious, defeating the Bruins 3-2 after scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth to secure the walk-off victory.
Bryce Strawderman gave the Bruins an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, scoring on a Kevin Rush fielder’s choice. Brady Duff would make it 2-0 on a John Ackerman ground ball in the top of the third. Unfortunately, that’s all the offense Broadway would muster on the night.
Down to their final three outs and down 2-1, here’s how the ninth inning played out for the Cardinals.
David Wood was hit by a pitch. Adam Dofflemyer walked. Logan Grimm singled. Bases were now loaded with no outs and the eight-nine hitters in the lineup coming up to bat.
Matt Curry (recently joined Grottoes after beginning the season with Clover Hill) has struggled with the strikeout this season. There’s no sugarcoating it. He put all of that behind him and came up with a clutch RBI-single to tie the game.
Four pitches later, Michael Wilhite drew a bases loaded walk, sending Grottoes home winners.
Cole Holsinger did an admirable job on the mound for Broadway, giving up just two hits and an unearned run across seven innings. He struck out seven in the process.
As for Grottoes, it was Wilhite’s performance on the mound that also helped to propel the Cardinals to victory. He struck out five and gave up just one hit over 2.2 relief innings. Wilhite improved to 3-1 on the season in eight games out of the bullpen.
Grottoes is back in action tonight, traveling to Montezuma to take on the Braves in another must-win game for the Cardinals. Broadway returns to action on Wednesday night with a home game against Bridgewater.
BROADWAY - The Broadway Bruins started out the season as the hottest team in the RCBL, but they’ve struggled ever since the All-Star break. The team came into Sunday night’s game against Elkton on a three-game losing streak, but they finally got back into the win column with a 3-2 victory.
“It feels good,” Broadway head coach Justin Getz said. “That’s what the guys needed right there. It wasn’t anything flashy, it wasn’t anything crazy. They just came out there and did their job.”
Coming onto the mound looking for his first win since June 15, John Judy was extremely effective for the Bruins. Judy lasted seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits and striking out seven batters.
Tommy Weaver came in to pitch the final two innings, allowing just one base runner and striking out three batters to pick up the save.
“We got an outstanding performance by John Judy off the mound, which he’s known to do that and that’s what he’s there for, to step in those roles,” Getz said. “Good job by Weaver closing it out.”
The game was a pitchers’ duel most of the night, with the Bruins first base runner not coming until the bottom of the third. Elkton starter Kris Lalk struck out the side in the first and fanned two more batters in the second.
By the time the third inning rolled around, though, the Bruins were ready to put the bat on the ball. Matt Meiser hit an RBI double to score Boo Dean for the first run of the game. Meiser came around to score later in the inning to make it 2-0 Broadway.
The Blue Sox tacked on a run in the fifth to close in on the lead, but Bryce Turner came around to score in the bottom of the inning to make it 3-1 Bruins.
Elkton scored its final run of the game in the seventh and couldn’t get anything going in the final two innings as Broadway took the victory.
Broadway finished the night with three runs on six hits. Meiser had the only multi-hit game of the night, going 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.
Coach Getz was happy with the way his team played in all phases of the game on Sunday.
“We hit, we produced runs in a timely fashion and made the plays that were presented to us,” Getz said. “It was a good all around win.”
The Bruins stay in the mix for the West Division title with the win. The team is now 15-8 on the season and 2.5 games behind Clover Hill.
The Bruins head to Grottoes tonight before returning home on Wednesday to take on Bridgewater in a pivotal Western Division matchup.
CLOVER HILL - Clover Hill- It was another must-watch Western Division showdown last night in Clover Hill as the Bucks played host to the Broadway Bruins on Friday night at the Clover Dome.
Despite a late-inning rally, Clover Hill walked away with a 10-7 win, maintaining a one-game lead over Bridgewater for first place in the West.
The Bucks scored four runs in the bottom of the first as Blake Sipe, Cody Warner, and Luke Shifflett hit back-to-back-to-back RBI-singles off Broadway starting pitcher, Tanner Skidmore. Sipe and Warner would both repeat the process in the second inning, contributing RBI-singles to give Clover Hill a 6-0 lead going into the third inning.
Cody Warner and Luke Shifflett would combine to go 5-8 at the plate with six RBIs on the night, giving Shifflett a total of 18 this season.
Clover Hill starting pitcher Nick Corbin cruised through his seven innings of work, giving up just four hits while walking none and striking out six. Unfortunately, his bullpen didn’t experience quite the same success.
Broadway threatened with three runs in the eighth and three more in the ninth, all off Bucks’ relief pitcher, Tanner Moyers. Boo Dean and Ben Reid brought in four runs over the final two frames. Reid’s RBI-single in the 8th was his first hit of the season since joining the team recently.
Head Coach Chris Cofer brought in the ace of his staff, Kevin Chandler, to record the final two outs and slam the door shut on Broadway’s explosive run. After giving up a two-run single to Dean, Chandler would strike out the final two batters of the game.
The Bucks return to action Saturday night, playing host to the Grottoes Cardinals in a battle of two first-place teams. As for Broadway, they return to the field on Sunday with a home game against Elkton.