With the Strasburg Express already moving on, there were three playoff games last night. One series ended, while two others will be stretched to the limit….
Front Royal 5, Woodstock 2 (Cardinals win series, 2-1)
The Front Royal Cardinals used a 3-run 3rd inning to finish off the Woodstock River Bandits in their opening round series.
In the 3rd, Drew Small tied the game at 1 with a double, scoring Nick Hutchins, and Edgar Lebron followed with an RBI single, scoring Daontre Porter (who walked 3 times and scored twice in this game). Greg Lambert then bunted Small home with the third run, which would be enough for the Cards to advance.
Mario Morales scattered 9 hits and 2 earned runs in 6 innings to earn the win, and Randy Dobnak dominated the last 3 innings to earn the save, as he allowed no hits, no walks, no runs, and struck out 5. Christian Dufresne received the loss for the Bandits.
The Cardinals move on to the Divisional finals for the first time since 2010. They will face the Strasburg Express- game one is tonight in Front Royal!
Waynesboro 5, Harrisonburg 4 (Series tried, 1-1)
The Waynesboro Generals got a sacrifice RBI bunt from Jeremy Taylor in the bottom of the 7th inning to force the Harrisonburg Turks to a deciding 3rd game in their opening round series.
The Generals had a 4-0 lead heading into the 7th, but the Turks struck for 4 runs in that inning- the big blow was a 2-run double by Shane Billings. But Taylor came through with his sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the inning, and Alexander Mauricio and Frankie Romano held the Turks scoreless the rest of the way.
Jamal Wilson received the win in relief for the Generals while Tanner Shelton was saddled with the loss.
The teams meet tonight for a winner-take-all game 3 in Harrisonburg.
Staunton 7, Covington 6 (10 innings; series tied, 1-1)
The Staunton Braves mounted a furious comeback in this one to save their playoffs and force the Covington Lumberjacks to a deciding 3rd game tonight in Staunton.
The ‘Jacks jumped out to a 5-0 lead after only 2 innings, and things looked dire for the Braves. However, they scored 1 in the 6th, 3 in the 7th, and 2 more runs in the 8th to take a brief lead, 6-5. Sebastian Diaz, however, continued his red-hot playoff hitting with a leadoff triple in the bottom of the 8th, and came home on a Brian Gonzalez groundout.
The score stayed knotted at 6 until the top of the 10th, when Jordan Howard came home on an error after his leadoff double and a sacrifice bunt to move him to third base.
Devin Gould was assigned the win, and Joseph Marco the loss. Ryan Crile led the Braves with 4 RBIs, and the aforementioned Sebastian Diaz had 4 hits, Brian Gonzalez had 3 RBIs, and Daniel Epstein walked an incredible 5 times for the ‘Jacks.
The teams meet tonight in Staunton for all the marbles! (Well, the right to go on to the next series, anyway.)