Let’s take a quick look at last night’s games… both the play-in game and playoff games!
Covington 6, Charlottesville 5 (Playoff game for 4th place in the South Division)
What an odd game. Covington, as many fans know, had a 4-0 lead in the 6th inning in this game way back on Monday before the skies opened. The game was suspended, could not be played Tuesday, and was moved to Staunton at 4:30 PM on Wednesday so the winner could turn around and play the #1 seed, Staunton, in game one of the series, immediately afterwards.
Finally back on the field, Charlottesville very quickly scored 2 runs in the 6th on a Colton Konvicka single, and then tied the game in the 7th with 2 more- one on an error and one when Cris Perez singled. From the game log, it seems that Brad McKay tried to steal home this inning, but was thrown out.
In the top of the 9th, it looked like the Tom Sox would advance to the next round when Konvika again came through, this time with a double to score Ryan Larson.
But leading, 5-4, the wheels would come off for the Sox in the bottom of the 9th. Sebastian Diaz walked to lead off the inning, moved to second on a groundout, and then this happened (from the boxscore): “Shane Castro advances to 1st (single), 31 Shane Castro advances to 2nd (E), 31 Shane Castro advances to 3rd (error by the pitcher), 12 Sebastian Diaz Scores Earned.” I’m not sure what happened there. Maybe one of my brilliant readers can fill us in.
The Sox then walked the bases full, which left Blake Sides the hero as he singled in the walk-off run.
I wonder how big the celebration was, with another game coming right up? Which leads us to…..
Covington 7, Staunton 3 (Covington leads series, 1-0)
Riding Jonathan Corbitt’s 4 hits and 2 RBIs, the Lumberjacks won their second game of the day, taking the early series lead against top seeded Staunton.
Sebastian Diaz scored twice and Daniel Epstein scored three times to help make Walter Borkovich the losing pitcher of record, while Kyle Polaski received the win in relief of Reid Clement for the ‘Jacks.
The teams face off again tonight in Covington. The ‘Jacks send Josh Hudson to the mound to try to finish the series off, while the Braves send Jake Perkins to stave off elimination.
Strasburg 8, Aldie 2 (Strasburg wins series, 2-0)
The Express punched its ticket (hah) to round two of the playoffs with a resounding 6-run top of the 9th inning against the Aldie Senators.
Tied at 2, the Express exploded for 6 runs against losing pitcher Josh Gard in the aforementioned 9th inning. It appears that three of the runs scored on bases loaded walks, while the other three scored on a Josh Cushing bases loaded double.
Wade Arduini threw a complete game for Strasburg, allowing 7 hits, 2 runs, 1 earned run, 0 walks, and striking out 6 for the win on only 106 pitches. The Express bullpen should be in great shape for the upcoming series against the winner of Front Royal and Woodstock, with a day off along with Arduini’s complete game.
Woodstock 6, Front Royal 2 (Series tied, 1-1)
The Bandits pounded out 12 hits and added 6 walks in their elimination-avoiding 6-2 win against the Cardinals.
Andrew Selby had two extra base hits, two runs, and 2 RBIs, while William Robbins added three hits for the winners. Joey Johnson threw four strong innings as the starter, and Hunter Morgan received the win with three innings of relief. Chris Ward finished off the game by recording the last four outs.
Both teams return to Front Royal for a winner-take-all game three tonight.
Harrisonburg 4, Waynesboro 2 (Turks lead series, 1-0)
Down 2-0, the Harrisonburg Turks used a 4-run 5th inning to win game one of the series with Waynesboro, 4-2.
Kameron Esthay hit a 2-run double to start the scoring for the Turks, while Shane Billings singled in 2 runs 2 batters later, making Vince Braman the losing pitcher, despite his excellent start.
James Ziemba earned the win with 6 solid innings, and Tyler Brown nailed down the 9th for the save.
The game was a quick one; it was finished in only 1 hour and 51 minutes.
Waynesboro tries to hold off elimination by sending Kale Morton to the mound tonight at Kate Collins Field, while the Turks counter with Brett Sasse.