Members of the media voted last week on the 2019 All-RCBL team, which is made up of 15 of the best players from around the league. Voters chose one player at each infield position, four outfielders, four pitchers, a utility player and a designated hitter to make up the team.
Each RCBL team ended up with at least one representative on the All-RCBL squad. Clover Hill leads the way with four honorees; Ross French, Drew Easter, Nick Corbin and Eric Yankey all earned spots on this year’s team. Easter and Yankey were members of the 2018 All-RCBL team as well. Easter is the only player in the league to earn All-RCBL honors in each of the past three seasons.
Three of the RCBL’s end-of-season award winners made the team: MVP Corbin Lucas, Pitcher of the Year John Judy and Rookie of the Year Luke Paczewski.
A number of statistical leaders are represented on the team as well. Keegan Woolford (.484), Lucas (.425) and David Wood (.422) have the three highest batting averages in the league and each received All-RCBL honors. PJ Hanisak led the league with seven home runs and earned an All-RCBL spot at catcher.
Nick Corbin led the league with a 1.47 ERA while strikeout leader Derek Shifflett earned a spot as a pitcher after fanning 82 batters this season.
Three rookies – Hanisak, Paczewski and Pearce Bucher – earned All-RCBL honors while second-year players Will Hass and John Judy made the team for the first time in their careers.
Joining Judy from the Bruins is outfielder Matt Meiser, who led the league with 21 stolen bases while batting .327 this season. Elkton veteran Christian Rodriguez capped off a fantastic season by earning a spot on this year’s team after batting .341 with four home runs and 26 RBIs this year.
Below is a full list of players named to the 2019 All-RCBL team:
Catcher: PJ Hanisak, Montezuma First Baseman: David Wood, Grottoes Second Baseman: Will Hass, Stuarts Draft Third Baseman: Luke Paczewski, Montezuma Shortstop: Ross French, Clover Hill Outfielder: Drew Easter, Clover Hill Outfielder: Matt Meiser, Broadway Outfielder: Keegan Woolford, Grottoes Outfielder: Corbin Lucas, Bridgewater Utility: Pearce Bucher, New Market Designated Hitter: Christian Rodriguez, Elkton Pitcher: John Judy, Broadway Pitcher: Derek Shifflett, Bridgewater Pitcher: Nick Corbin, Clover Hill Pitcher: Eric Yankey, Clover Hill
The RCBL end-of-season awards have been finalized for the 2019 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.
Stepping up as a veteran leader on a Bridgewater team that lost most of its core over the offseason, Corbin Lucas earned MVP honors for the 2019 season. Lucas batted .425 with five home runs this summer. His 30 RBIs led the league, while his other offensive marks were near the top.
The Reds’ right fielder posted an on-base-percentage of .475 while slugging .782 over the course of 23 games, leading the Reds to a 12-16 season. Lucas’ five home runs are the most he has ever hit as a member of the Reds.
Just up Route 42 in Broadway, Bruins starter John Judy put together a phenomenal season on his way to becoming Pitcher of the Year. Judy finished the regular season with a record of 4-1, posting a 2.31 ERA and striking out 65 batters.
Judy’s season was highlighted by a rain-shortened no-hitter, in which he struck out nine batters in six innings. He had a season-high 14 strikeouts in a complete game victory against Montezuma on July 20. Judy’s season helped lead the Bruins to a 14-14 season and the fourth seed in the 2019 postseason.
Making a breakthrough in his first year in the RCBL, Montezuma’s Luke Paczewski earned Rookie of the Year honors. Paczewski hit .400 on the season, while driving in 16 runs for the Braves. He added six walks and seven doubles to cap off his standout rookie season.
In his first year at the helm of the New Market Shockers, Nolan Potts led the team to a 15-13 record to earn Coach of the Year honors. Potts served as an assistant in New Market for multiple seasons before being promoted to head coach for the 2019 season.
Potts led the Shockers to their first season above .500 in the Pointstreak Era, which dates back to the 2013 season. He was able to recruit a plethora of new talent while retaining many of the players that have seen success in New Market in previous seasons.
Potts occasionally had to put himself into the lineup as well, hitting .231 on the season in seven games played for the Shockers.
BROADWAY - A rainy day led to a quiet night throughout the Valley, but not in Broadway. While every other RCBL postseason game was postponed on Wednesday evening, the Bruins hosted Montezuma in game one of their quarterfinal series.
Broadway right-hander John Judy was as dominant as every as he pitched a complete game, striking out 13 batters on the way to a 5-1 victory. Judy allowed just one run on nine hits and one walk.
The game started as a pitchers’ duel on both sides as Montezuma started John Dudley only allowed one hit through the first three innings. The tide started to turn in the bottom of the fourth, though.
Boo Dean led off the inning with a double and was later drive home on a triple that Matt Meiser rocketed to left field. The throw to third was off target and rolled into the Broadway dugout, allowing Meiser to come home and score as well.
The Bruins would put up two more runs in the bottom of the fifth after Danny Grogg led the inning off with a double and he and Tanner Skidmore each crossed the plate in the frame.
Meanwhile, Judy continued to be dominant on the mound as the game went on. Six of his 13 strikeouts came in the last four innings of the game, including three in the seventh inning.
To cap things off in the bottom of the eighth inning for the Bruins, Meiser walked, stole second, reached third on a wild pitch, and stole home to give the Bruins their fifth run of the game.
Montezuma came close to scoring in the top of the fifth, but Josh Tayman was thrown out trying to cross the plate on a ground ball from Owen Stewart. The Braves eventually put a run on the board in the top of the ninth when Stewart reached after getting hit by a pitch and scored in the inning.
For the Bruins, Meiser finished the night 1-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs. Grogg went 2-for-3 in the game with a run scored.
The win puts the Bruins up 1-0 in the series, needing just one win to advance to the semifinals. The next game is scheduled for tonight at Ruritan Park in Montezuma.
The Braves will look to keep their season alive by securing a win as they return home tonight for a 7:30 p.m. first pitch.
Clover Hill is currently up 1-0 over Grottoes after an 18-5 win on Tuesday night, while Elkton is up 1-0 against New Market after a 10-8 win on Tuesday.
All four series will be back in action tonight, with every game scheduled for 7:30 p.m. All scheduling information can be found here.
All eyes were on Ruritan Field Monday night, as the Bridgewater Reds and the Montezuma Braves played the final game of the regular season. This game would determine the final order of the standings, and therefore lock in the playoff matchups for the 2019 season. After the dust settled, the Braves emerged victorious over the Reds, 13-8.
Now, the playoff picture is clear. The matchups are as follows:
#1 Clover Hill Bucks vs #8 Grottoes Cardinals
Game 1: Tuesday night, at Clover Hill, 7:30 PM Game 2: Wednesday night, at Grottoes, 7:30 PM Game 3 (if necessary): Thursday night, at Clover Hill, 7:30 PM
This matchup was the only one that had been decided before Monday night’s contest. The Clover Hill Bucks completely ran away with the regular season pennant, securing an impressive 24-4 record and beating out the next best team by nine games. The Bucks have made it to the championship series the last two years, but lost both times, so these playoffs certainly have a bit more intensity for the Clover Hill squad. They are ridiculously deep in all facets of their roster, but are headlined by the bat of Josh Eberely (.344 AVG, 22 RBI) and the arm of Nick Corbin (5-0, 1.47 ERA, 35 K).
As for the Cardinals, their solid season has unraveled, resulting in a seven game losing streak to finish the regular season. Now, they will have to try to figure it out against the juggernaut of the Bucks in a three game series. They will look to replicate the success they had in the middle stretch of the season, where they won 7 of 9 games, including a 6-1 win over the Bucks on June 8. No doubt, they will need production from their two MVP-candidate sluggers, Keegan Woolford (.484 AVG, 26 RBI) and David Wood (.422 AVG, 19 RBI).
#2 New Market Shockers vs #7 Elkton Blue Sox
Game 1: Tuesday night, at New Market, 7:30 PM Game 2: Wednesday night, at Elkton, 7:30 PM Game 3 (if necessary): Thursday night, at New Market, 7:30 PM
The Shockers finished the season by winning seven of their last ten games, fueled by a dynamic offense and a reliable stable of starting pitchers. Frankie Ritter (.366 AVG), Peter Mullholland (.415 AVG) and Pearce Bucher (.352 AVG, 27 RBI) form one of the best top-of-the-lineup combinations in the league, as they have a tendency to force the opponent to their bullpen earlier than they anticipated.
New Market will now turn their attention to the intriguing Elkton Blue Sox, who have climbed out of the 8-seed and started to assert themselves as a dark horse candidate for this year’s playoffs. The Blue Sox are headlined by a pair of bombers in JJ Loker (.302 AVG, 3 HR, 24 RBI) and MVP candidate Christian Rodriguez (.341 AVG, 4 HR, 26 RBI). The key for Elkton will be getting solid innings from their starting pitching. This could prove to be one of the more fun series of the first round.
#3 Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks vs #6 Bridgewater Reds
Game 1: Wednesday night, at Stuarts Draft, 7:30 PM Game 2: Thursday night, at Bridgewater, 7:30 PM Game 3 (if necessary): Friday night, at Stuarts Draft, 7:30 PM
The Diamondbacks have put together a very solid season, staying around .500 all summer, but winning key matchups along the way. They are a team with a deep lineup and a reliable bullpen, making them a formidable playoff opponent. Jack Pausic (.326 AVG, 22 RBI), Tanner Levine (.313 AVG) and Tyler Wilcher (.308 AVG) will all be dangerous weapons for Stuarts Draft to deploy.
They will go head to head against the defending champion Bridgewater Reds, who, despite losing a handful of key players from previous seasons, are still very much in the mix.
The Reds’ full capabilities were on display in the middle of the season, where they won 8 of 9 games in commanding fashion. Now, Bridgewater will look to recapture that success behind their star-studded pitching staff, led by the dynamic duo of Derek Shifflett (4 CG, 3.80 ERA, 82 K) and Tucker Garrison (4-2, 4.32 ERA, 55 K). Of course, the other problem for the Dbacks is MVP candidate Corbin Lucas (.425 AVG, 30 RBI) lurking in the middle of the Reds’ lineup.
#4 Broadway Bruins vs #5 Montezuma Braves
Game 1: Wednesday night, at Broadway, 7:30 PM Game 2: Thursday night, at Montezuma, 7:30 PM Game 3 (if necessary): Friday night, at Broadway, 7:30 PM
The Bruins finish the regular season winning 6 of their last 8 games. The Bruins are arguably the most evenly talented team in the league, having solid assets in all aspects of the game. They will now turn to a few key players to take them over the hump, namely John Judy (4-1, 2.31 ERA) on the mound and Matt Meiser (.327 AVG, 25 RBI) at the dish.
As for the Braves, they take a three game win streak into the playoffs, backed by a fearsome offense, anchored by PJ Hanisak (.350 AVG, 28 RBI) and MVP candidate Luke Paczewski (.400 AVG, 16 RBI). The key for Montezuma will be finding reliable innings from their bullpen, which could prove to be a difference maker in this evenly matched series.
After the conclusion of the first round, only four teams will remain, setting up an exciting semi-finals series. Be sure to get out and catch the first round action this week, and stay tuned to the RCBL website for more playoff coverage.
BRIDGEWATER - Following up their 12-run performance on Thursday night, the Bridgewater Reds defeated New Market 11-0 in game two on Friday. The Reds’ 12 hits combined with eight errors by New Market led to a shut-out win to take a two-game lead in the series.
“Momentum’s going our way right now,” Reds’ catcher Josh Wright said. “We’ve still got to stay focused one game at a time. We don’t get ahead of ourselves because we need to focus on each and every pitch. We’re looking forward to game three.”
Much like Thursday's game, a few key innings proved to be the difference for the Reds.
Bridgewater’s offense started off slow, scoring one run each in the first and third innings. The offense exploded in the fifth for five runs on five hits and four errors. Tyler Bocock, Wright, Brian Bocock, Corbin Lucas and Andrew Armstrong all came around to score in the inning.
The Reds scored three more runs in the sixth to make it 10-0. The final run of the game came on a solo shot to straightaway centerfield by Tyler Bocock in the eighth inning.
Four Reds had multi-hit games, including Wright, who finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored on the night.
“The guy coming in first was a sidearmer, so we just tried to stay with a good approach and go with inside pitches best we could and it seemed to work tonight,” Wright said about his mentality at the plate.
Bridgewater starter Tucker Garrison got the win on the mound, pitching six innings while striking out eight batters. Garrison gave up just three hits and one walk on the night.
“He got ahead early and that’s the key to success in this league is making sure you can get ahead in the count,” Wright said about his pitcher’s performance. “He got some ground balls and it worked out great for us.”
The Reds now have a 2-0 lead in the series heading into game three on Sunday night. Sunday’s contest will be a home game for the Shockers back at Rebel Park.
NEW MARKET - After multiple rain delays and cancellations, the first game of the Bridgewater versus New Market series was completed last night. The Reds took home a 12-5 win to take a 1-0 lead in the semifinals.
New Market had a strong start by capitalizing on the mistakes that the Reds made in the first two innings. The Shockers got two runs on the board in the bottom of the first inning. They added three more in the second to take a 5-0 lead.
“I think we struggled early, but took a deep breath, settled in and had a good third inning and just kind of kept it going from there,” Tyler Bocock said about the Reds performance on Thursday.
The Reds answered back to those five runs by bringing home 10 runs in the top of the third. Starting with a single to left field from Corbin Lucas that brought home Tyler Bocock, the Reds scored 10 runs on 10 hits to break the game open.
The Reds kept the Shockers from advancing home the rest of the night while the Bridgewater offense kept the runs coming. Bridgewater scored one more in the fourth inning and put another run across in the ninth to take the win in game one.
“There are things we can take away from this game, just like every game we can definitely do better. We walked some guys tonight, it would be nice to go after some guys, give our defense a chance,” Bocock said. “We had a couple innings that were big innings but it’s nice sometimes to chip away, keep scoring throughout the game.”
New Market and Bridgewater will play again in the second game of the series tonight at Ray Heatwole Field.
NEW MARKET - After their quarterfinal series saw five rain delays and one game moved at the request of their opponent, the New Market Shockers finally moved on to the next round with an 8-2 win over Elkton on Monday night.
The two teams finished up the suspended game two, which had been rained out in the bottom of the first inning on Sunday night. The Shockers put together eight runs on 11 hits to put an end to the series that started a week ago.
“Well you know since we started last Tuesday, I’m just glad to complete a game on time,” New Market head coach Chris Rush said. “It’s good, we’re ready to move on to the second round.”
Monday’s game started with two outs in the bottom of the first inning and a man on first base for the Shockers. Nick Goode came around to score on an RBI single by Pat Wingfield for the first run of the game.
Elkton answered in the top of the third when Trent Miller scored on an error to tie the game up at one run apiece.
The teams took turns scoring in the sixth and seventh innings to keep the score tied at 2-2, but New Market broke the game open in the bottom of the seventh. Joseph Rutherford, Nate Jaye, Nick Goode and Pat Wingfield all came across the plate to give New Market a 6-2 lead late in the game.
Two more runs off an RBI single from Goode in the eighth would put the game away for the Shockers. Reliever Brett Ritter faced just four batters in the ninth to close out the game and move on to the next round of the playoffs.
Elkton’s Kris Lalk pitched seven innings and struck out 12 batters, but got the loss as the Shockers put up six runs on him. Only two of the runs that Lalk gave up were earned.
“Long series with Elkton, but pretty good series, this game especially,” Rush said. “Lalk did a heck of a job out there. Benner did a pretty good job for us. We were able to capitalize on Lalk a little bit towards the end. He had a lot of pitches and I think we started being a little more patient and looking for our pitches to hit.”
For New Market, Colin Benner pitched eight innings and gave up just two runs on four hits. Benner struck out 12 batters in the game as well.
First baseman Nolan Potts finished the game 3-for-4 from the plate with one RBI. Goode and Wingfield each had multi-hit games as well.
Despite the Shockers’ record in the regular season, Coach Rush knew his team was capable of playing well in the playoffs and he hopes to keep the momentum going as they face Bridgewater in the semifinals. “We’ve got a good group of guys. This year we were in games when we should have won and we gave some of those away,” Rush said. “I’ve said before and I say again our record doesn’t really reflect who we are and I’m hoping in the postseason we can show that. I think we’re starting to show that and we just want to keep moving on with it.”
NEW MARKET - The RCBL quarterfinals came one step closer to being completed on Sunday night, but were ultimately held up once again due to rain.
The New Market Shockers were finally able to complete game one of their series against the Elkton Blue Sox, winning the contest 12-2. The game was originally started on Tuesday July 31 before being suspended in the top of the eighth inning after a rainstorm.
The teams resumed that game on Sunday afternoon at Rebel Park with a man on first and no outs for the Shockers, who were up 7-2.
Nolan Potts, Zach Stiles, Ty Michaud and Ty Bennett all hit RBI singles in the inning to give the Shockers to extend their lead to 11-2.
Joseph Rutherford hit an RBI single in the top of the ninth to score Nick Goode for the Shockers’ final run of the game.
Seth Comer got the win on the mound for New Market, pitching six innings and allowing just one run on four hits. Bennett finished the game 4-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBIs. Michaud also had four hits on the night, scoring one run and driving in two.
The teams planned to play the second game of the series on Sunday as well, but that’s when the weather stepped in yet again. Rain started to fall in the middle of the first inning and became heavy enough by the bottom of the inning that the game had to be suspended.
New Market was batting in the bottom of the first with two outs and a man on first base when the game was suspended.
The series will be resumed tonight at 7:30 at Rebel Park. New Market and Elkton are the only teams still playing in the quarterfinals; every other series was finished by last Wednesday. Grottoes, Clover Hill and Bridgewater are currently waiting for this series to wrap up so they can know their opponents in the semifinals and start the next round of playoffs.
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.
Tyler Bocock and Colin Benner have been named the Bob Wade Player and Pitcher of the Week for the final week of the 2018 RCBL season.
In two games for the Bridgewater Reds this week, Bocock was 7-for-8 with two home runs and 11 RBIs. Bocock helped the Reds to an 18-3 victory over the Elkton Blue Sox on Thursday, going 5-for-5 at the plate and driving in 10 runs. He hit both of his home runs in that game.
The Reds finished the season with a 12-5 victory over New Market on Saturday night. Bocock finished the night 2-for-3 with one RBI and four runs scored.
The Reds take on Stuarts Draft tonight in the first round of the playoffs. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Ray Heatwole Field.
Benner pitched seven innings for the New Market Shockers on Thursday night at Montezuma. He gave up one earned run and allowed three hits while striking out seven batters.
New Market takes on Elkton in the first round of the playoffs tonight at Stonewall Memorial Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.