Seiz sparks Rebels past River Bandits
By Tommy Keeler Jr.
NEW MARKET –Ryan Seiz was exactly where he wanted to be.
The New Market Rebel found himself at the plate with two runners in scoring position, and he made sure to make the most of it. His two-run seventh-inning single helped give the Rebels a 6-2 win over Woodstock in Valley Baseball League action on Wednesday.
“I love being in those sitautions,” Seiz said. “I just look for a good pitch to hit and try to drive it somewhere.”
New Market’s Nick Lustrino led off the seventh with a double into right field off Woodstock reliever Adam Lamar. Mac Hudgins was then hit by a pitch. One out later, Seiz hit a two-run single off Woodstock reliever Greg Ostner to give the Rebels a 4-2 lead.
“I just wanted to hit the ball hard,” Seiz said. “He gave me a fastball middle-out. I just tried to stay on top of it and drive it somewhere.”
New Market added two runs in the bottom of the eighth. New Market’s Landon Prentiss led off with a double off Ostner. Pine followed with an RBI single. One out later, a sacrifice fly by Lustrino gave the Rebels a 6-2 lead.
“I feel like we played good,” New Market manager C.J. Rhodes said. “We kind of grinded through the first half of the game. We were able to adjust in the second half of the game and play better.”
The Rebels (6-3) took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fourth. Trailing 1-0, New Market’s Derek Peterson led off with a single. Mark Stuckey drew a walk from Woodstock starter Joe Bocchino. One out later, Dave Pine’s RBI groundout tied the game at 1-1. A wild pitch from Bocchino scored Pine to give the Rebels a 2-1 lead.
The River Bandits (4-2) tied the game in the top of the sixth. With one out, Woodstock’s Jerrod Groves drew a walk from New Market reliever Andrew Woods. Groves stole second and scored on an RBI single by Justin Weaver.
“We had a few clutch hits in some key situations,” Woodstock manager Phil Betterly said.
It appeared the Rebels might be in a little trouble in the top of the fifth, but their defense saved them. Woodstock’s Joe Popadics drew a lead-off walk from New Market starter Aaron Cressley. Drew Cole then reached on an error. Cressley then struck out Steve KarKenny and the Rebels made two outstanding defensive plays to end the inning. New Market second baseman Kevin Casey leaped and snagged a hard line drive by Edgerton. New Market center fielder Mac Hudgins then ran down a long fly ball by Brian Mauro to end the inning.
The River Bandits scored a run in the top of the first. KarKenny singled with two outs off Cressley. Edgerton then drew a walk, and Mauro follwed with an RBI single.
Both starters struggled a little bit, and both managers said a long layoff had an effect on that.
Bocchino, who hadn’t thrown in 12 days, went 4 1/3 innings, allowed four hits and struck out two.
“He just needed to get back out there and get back in a routine,” Betterly said. “All baseball players need to be in a routine, so it’s tough on all of us.”
Cressley went five innings, allowing only three hits, while striking out three.
The loss snapped the River Bandits four-game winning streak, but Betterly said the most important thing is just getting back out there and playing.
“We’re happy with the start to our season,” Betterly said. “We have a lot of talent 1-28 on this roster. I know that whoever is out there each night that they’re going to play hard and give us a chance to win.”
The Rebels are also off to a strong start. Rhodes said he is still searching for the eventual lineup, but he’s glad to have so much depth on the team.
“We have a lot of depth, and there’s still a lot of competiton at a lot of the spots,” Rhodes said. “I think that’s good in that everybody gets an opportunity to show what they can do. I think in about two more weeks we’ll have a more set lineup and then we’ll see what can do.”
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org