Posted July 30, 2010 | comments Leave a comment

Garza hits winning double for Bandits

River Bandits' Buddy Sosnoskie rounds third base on his way to score a run in the second inning. Andrew Thayer/Dail

River Bandits' Bo Daves delivers his pitch during the game against Staunton on Thursday in Woodstock. Andrew Thayer/Daily

River Bandits’ Karl Johnston heads to the dugout after hitting a home run in the first inning against Staunton on Thursday in Woodstock. Andrew Thayer/Daily

By Jeremy Stafford -- a href="mailto:jstafford@nvdaily.com">jstafford@nvdaily.com

WOODSTOCK -- A group of kids gathered just outside of the Woodstock dugout, baseballs in hand.

They were waiting for River Bandits third baseman Mike Garza to get back from the post-game huddle in left field. They wanted him to sign their baseballs.

So Garza obliged. He had, after all, smacked a walk-off RBI double in the bottom of the 11th inning of Woodstock's 7-6 over Staunton on Thursday.

The runner batted in was outfielder Buddy Sosnoskie, who had chopped a ball down the third-base line, yet beat an errant throw to first.

From first base, Sosnoskie beat another throw, this time from center field; this time, it was a race to home.

"It's always fun, especially in a tie game like that," Garza said of having a game's outcome on his shoulders.

"We gotta win, every day we gotta win. We don't want to depend on someone's loss at the end of the year."

Here are Garza's stats for Thursday: He batted 3-for-6 with two singles, two RBIs and, of course, a double. He stole four bases, giving him a league-leading 20 swipes on 24 tries.

He successfully stole home in the seventh after stealing second, then rounding to third on a high throw to second.

He also stole first base in the ninth inning: He struck out swinging, but got to first on a passed ball.

In fact, there was plenty of unusualness Thursday night, some of it spectacular, much of it atrocious.

The spectacular: Woodstock's infield defense, which saw two diving stops by shortstop Derek Vioga, and a bobbling putout by first baseman Matt Streich.

The atrocity: Staunton's seven errors, two of which conspired for a Woodstock run in the third.

There were a few head-scratchers, too -- a cleanup hitter, Staunton's Todd Brazeal, so patient at the plate he didn't record his first at-bat until the sixth. He walked three times.

And Woodstock starting pitcher Bo Daves was so unconcerned with convention that after allowing five base runners through his first three innings, he saw only one in his final three.

For his efforts, he was awarded a no decision.

The win makes Woodstock 17-22, tied with New Market for the final spot in the upcoming playoffs.

The River Bandits can make up plenty of ground in a doubleheader today: They face Luray at 5:30, then again at 8.

"Our destiny is in our hands," Woodstock manager Donn Foltz said. "It's an old cliche but it's in our hands right now."

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