FRONT ROYAL - The Front Royal Cardinals continue to look for consistency.
The slumping Valley Baseball League team has lost 13 of its last 14 games and head coach Tony Hurla said that his team just needs to find a way to put it all together.
"We're still battling that consistency issue," Hurla said Friday afternoon. "If we could start to (hit and pitch) at the same time together then I think we could start getting some wins."
Hurla said his team has either pitched well or hit well but hasn't been able to do both at the same time.
"For a while there it looked like our pitching was trending in the right direction," Hurla said. "We had a couple good starts. Then we just had a bad day the other night at Waynesboro (a 19-7 loss on Wednesday)."
As a team the Cardinals have a 6.11 ERA. Offensively, the Cardinals are hitting .236 as a team.
The Cardinals are 7-21, which is 12.5 games behind first-place Strasburg in the North Division. However, the Cardinals are only 5 games out of fourth place in the division. The top four teams in each division make the postseason.
Hurla said that his team has stayed upbeat and believe they can win.
"The guys still continue to show up and play hard," he said. "We're just not having the success that we want. But if we keep at it and keep showing up with a good attitude, things are bound to go our way."
COMPLETE ACE: One big bright spot for the Cardinals has been the play of pitcher Shane Scott (Arkansas Tech University).
Scott threw a complete game shutout on June 28 in a 6-0 win against Winchester. He allowed just five hits and threw only 114 pitches, which included 78 strikes.
"He really wanted that complete game the other night," Hurla said. "So I let him go for it and he got the job done. So he's really done a good job for us. He's been our best guy from start to finish, consistent all throughout the season. Every time out that he's pitched, we've had a chance in every ball game that he's been out there for us."
The 6-foot-1 215-pound starter has put together an impressive season. Scott has pitched in six games, including five starts. He has thrown 35.2 innings with 21 strikeouts, a 2.27 ERA and a 2-1 record.
"He generally attacks the strike zone," Hurla said. "Not only that but he has good movement on his fastballs. He's got two fastballs -- a four seam and a two seam -- and both of them have life. And when he really has the slider going with it he can be really tough."
POSITIVE SCHEDULE: The remaining schedule should help the Cardinals as they will have more days off than they had at the start of the season.
The Cardinals have only 14 games remaining over the final 19 days of the season. Front Royal had only five days off the entire month of June.
Front Royal, along with New Market, has played the most games of any team in the league so far this season.
"It should be good," Hurla said. "We've had some injuries to our pitching staff and we have a couple more that are going home due to personal circumstances. So having those off days should be beneficial to our pitching more than anything. We'll have to find a way to keep our hitters in a rhythm and things like that."