Front Royal first-year manager Brad Neffendorf chose left-hander Jake Harper as his starting pitcher for the Cardinals' season opener against Aldie back on May 30 because he felt Harper was the guy who could set the tone for Cardinals in the 2014 Valley Baseball League season.
SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. -- Just as the chips were down for the Charles Town Cannons against the Strasburg Express in game one of the Valley Baseball League semifinal series at Sager Field Friday night, Cannons manager Brett Fuller had to go all in on a position player to take the mound.
FRONT ROYAL -- Strasburg Express manager Ben Moore has continually stressed the importance of winning the battle of what he refers to as the "free 90," a term used to describe errors, walks, stolen bases, passed balls, wild pitches -- anything that awards an opponent an extra base.
Strasburg Express first-year manager Ben Moore held a team meeting several weeks ago to discuss how he and his coaching staff could improve the team's experience over the final stretch of the Valley Baseball League season. During that meeting, Moore, who thinks many college baseball players today have become too robotic while coaches control nearly every aspect of the game, decided he was going to take a more relaxed approach and simply allow the Express to have fun.
Luray jumped ahead by two runs after a half inning of play, then used a grand slam by Nick Rickles in the eighth to defeat Winchester 10-4 on Sunday in an emotional second game of their Valley League semifinal matchup.
WINCHESTER -- After swapping 8-4 wins over the last two days, Winchester and Harrisonburg squared off for a trip to the semifinals of the Valley League playoffs. Regardless of the results, however, it was the last game for Winchester's Evan Cox and Cory Spangenberg, who will be heading home today.
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.
FRONT ROYAL -- The Cardinals opened the Valley Baseball League postseason Tuesday night, beginning a series at home against the Waynesboro Generals, and Front Royal played one of its best games of the season to start the postseason with a win, outlasting the Generals, 6-2.
WINCHESTER -- Nathan Minnich crushed three home runs, including a third-inning grand slam, to lift Winchester to a convincing 20-6 win over Woodstock Monday in each team's last regular season Valley League game.