Central baseball claims tournament win over Strasburg

By Jim Laise

STRASBURG – Sam Shifflett singled home a pair of runs in the top of the seventh and his Central Falcon baseball team went on to edge Strasburg High School 8-7 Tuesday in a Conference 35 semifinal matchup between two Shenandoah County rivals.

Shifflett’s two RBIs came after Strasburg had managed to get two outs in what amounted to Central’s final at-bat in regulation.

Josue Rosario had singled to left and then pinch-hitter Andrew Daugherty singled up the box to put two Falcons on with one out remaining and the Rams ahead 7-6. Shifflett drove them both home.

The Falcons (10-12) had lost twice to Strasburg (12-8) by identical 7-2 scores, including a Ram win on May 17, but the visitors persevered in a night mired in showers from the early innings on.

They will play Thursday at a site to be determined.

“This is what we’re all about,” said winning coach Sean Semones. “We’ve battled like this all season and we did it all throughout tonight. We wanted it, maybe a little more.”

Central started the season 0-3 and 1-4.

It was a back-and-forth affair for the Falcons and Rams.

In the top of the second, Central’s Gus Wightman singled over third and scored on a double by Rosario and then teammate Andrew Moomaw grounded into an out, allowing Rosario to come home for a 2-0 lead.

Falcon starter Jared Rice worked out of a bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the second.

But in the bottom of the third, 2017 All-Bull Run first-teamer Dylan Campbell singled to center. He came home on a triple by Austin Miller.

Freshman second-team all-district member Trevor Sager’s sacrifice fly and two errors allowed Miller to score. It was 2-all.

The Falcons scored four runs in their half of the fifth.

Shifflett got on via error and a pinch runner came aboard. An error on a ball hit by Johnathan Baker moved the runner to third.

John French singled home a score. Then Jared Rice sacrificed Baker home. A fielders choice added a third run and then Luke Estep hit a home run to right.

The Falcons led 6-2.

The Rams came back with five of their own in the bottom of the fifth on two hits.

Cameron Harmon doubled and Chase Hart knocked a home run over the left field fence to give the Rams the short-lived 7-6 advantage.

Rosario and French each had two hits for Central.

Campbell was 3-for-4.