Quaranta’s walk-off double lifts Express past Generals

Members of the Strasburg Express mob Brandon Quaranta after he hit a double that drove in the winning run to defeat Waynesboro 3-2 in the ninth inning Friday night at First Bank Park. Rich Cooley/Daily

STRASBURG – The Strasburg Express have had a little magic going this week and it continued on Friday night.

Strasburg’s Brandon Quaranta’s walk-off RBI double in the ninth gave the Express a 3-2 Valley Baseball League victory over Waynesboro at First Bank Park. The Express have won three straight games in their final at-bat.

“These guys are my brothers, and it’s awesome playing with them. Wins like that – it’s huge for the team,” Quaranta said of the last three games. “It gets the guys all hyped up and ready to keep going. … The last three games we’ve swung the bats well and had real good pitching.”

Strasburg (24-9) and Waynesboro (21-11) entered Friday’s game with the two best records in the league. Strasburg leads the North Division, while Waynesboro leads the South Division.

The two teams went back and forth throughout the game. With the game tied 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Strasburg’s Carter Pharis drew a walk from Waynesboro relief pitcher Ivanniel Vazquez to start the inning.

Strasburg Express's shortstop Erick Delgado turns a double play as Waynesboro's Tanner Poole is forced out at second base during first inning baseball action Friday night at First Bank Park. Rich Cooley/Daily

Quaranta, who had three hits in the game, doubled down the left-field line to score Pharis with the winning run and was then mobbed by teammates in celebration.

“In that situation I didn’t want to strike out, and I was trying to put the ball in play hard somewhere and give our team a chance to win,” Quaranta said. “I was lucky enough to get a double down the line and have Carter score the winning run.”

Waynesboro took the lead in the top of the sixth. Waynesboro’s Tanner Poole drew a walk from Strasburg starting pitcher Derrick Mount. With one out, Zach Sterry’s RBI single gave the Generals a 1-0 lead.

Strasburg took the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Strasburg’s Brandon Quaranta singled off Waynesboro starting pitcher Campbell Scholl. Dylan Ingram followed with a double.

With two outs, Strasburg’s Drew Avans hit a two-run double to put the Express on top, 2-1.

Strasburg Express catcher Jeffrey Scott tags at Waynesboro's Trey Stine at home plate during ninth inning action at First Bank Park in Strasburg. Rich Cooley/Daily

“To take the lead right there that was real big, because it gave us a little confidence,” Strasburg manager Butch Barnes said.

The Generals tied the game in the top of the eighth. Poole led off the eighth with a solo home run off Strasburg relief pitcher Ryan Anderson.

Both teams had quality outings from their starting pitchers. Scholl went seven innings, allowing just five hits.

Mount went six innings for the Express, allowing five hits and striking out six.

“There’s a lot of zeros up on that board. (Scholl), tip your cap to him. Derrick Mount, just finessing his way all the way through it,” Barnes said. “You can’t ask for anything more. Our bullpen was just a little better than theirs tonight. They got a good club. Their record indicates it and so does ours.”

Strasburg's Tommy Richter slides into second base as Waynesboro's short stop Tracy Hadley turns a double play ball during fourth inning action Friday night at First Bank Park. Rich Cooley/Daily

Barnes said his team’s attitude has been great all season and it’s showed again this week with three really good victories.

“Our motto is it’s not over until they record the last out no matter what the score is, and they’ve bought in,” Barnes said. “…These guys – they come out here to play. If you can come out here to play every day in this temperature and the heat. It was 100 today when we showed up to the ball park. They’re quality young men.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com

Waynesboro second baseman Sam Palensky turns a double play as Strasburg's Tommy Richter slides into second base during eighth inning action Friday night at First Bank Park. Rich Cooley/Daily