By Robert Edmonds - firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW MARKET -- After an up and down season, New Market saw its season prolonged for two hours Wednesday night only to come to a close quickly once play began in the second game of their Valley Baseball League first-round playoff series against the regular season champion Haymarket Senators.
Fierce storms forced the start to be delayed nearly two hours before both teams were allowed to take the field to begin play. If the starting pitching was any indication of events to come, however, it would at first appear that the Rebels were in for a battle.
Rebels starter Jared Winder struck out the first four Senators batters before suddenly finding himself behind in the count against several Haymarket batters. The Senators opened up the floodgates as they zoned in on Winder and used the middle three innings as the deciding factor in an 8-3 rout.
Yoandy Barroso scored in the second inning to put the Senators ahead quickly when a sharp liner by teammate Alex Maruri was misplayed by the Rebels' third baseman. New Market responded to knot the score when Dan Shafferman provided one of the few Rebels' highlights on the night as he blasted a home run over the left-field fence.
Unfortunately, Winder could not contain the Senators' bats in the top half of the fourth as they notched a three-mark on the scoreboard and take control. With two runners on, Winder walked Maruri to load the bases and set up Jimmy Dowdell with a prime opportunity. Dowdell delivered quickly with a two-run double to right field. Jimmy Vahalik followed with a sacrifice fly to score Maruri and put his team ahead, 4-1.
The Senators added a pair of runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings to put the game out of reach as New Market struggled to connect against Senators starter Gregory Nappo. The left-hander from Connecticut pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs while striking out 11 batters and only walking two.
The fierce storms wreaked havoc in the Valley League playoff schedule as other games were postponed, giving the Senators an extended break before they resume play in the second round of the playoffs at the end of the week.
For New Market, the season comes to a close after a late-season run gave the Rebels new life as they hung on to the final playoff spot at the end of the season. Unfortunately for New Market, the Rebels could not live to see another day in this postseason.