Waynesboro 3. Harrisonburg 2 (Waynesboro wins series, 2-1)
The Waynesboro Generals held on to defeat the Harrisonburg Turks last night to move on to the South finals.
Joseph Estrada drove in the first General run in the 4th inning, and the team added two more in the 5th on a Clayton Taylor RBI double, followed by a Jonathan Camp RBI single. The Turks cut the lead to one in the 7th when Kameron Esthay hit a solo home run, and Shane Billings tripled in Tripp Shelton.
The score remained the same, thanks to some clutch pitching from Alexander Mauricio in the 8th inning. Sure, the mess was his own doing, but after the Turks loaded the bases with 1 out, Mauricio struck out Erik Garcia and Esthay to preserve the slim lead. Frankie Romano pitched an uneventful 9th for the save.
The Generals will now face the Staunton Braves in the South finals. The first game is scheduled for Saturday night in Staunton. The drive for three titles in a row remains alive!
Staunton 6, Covington 4 (Staunton wins series, 2-1)
The Staunton Braves used a huge 4-run 7th inning to overcome a 3-2 deficit and punch their ticket to the South finals against Waynesboro.
Sending 10 men to the plate against losing pitcher Austin Southcott (and reliever Justin Thigpen), the Braves used 4 walks, a hit-by-pitch, and 2 hits to score those 4 runs, which were enough to make the difference.
Garrison Vandeventer gave up one run in the 9th inning, but closed out the game for the save for the Braves. Jack Schaaf had 3 hits for the winners; Ryan Alvarez drove in 3 runs for the losers.
The Braves advance to the semi-finals for the first time since 2008. They will host the Waynesboro Generals tonight in game one of the best-of-three series.
Strasburg 5, Front Royal 4 (Strasburg leads series, 1-0)
Down 4-1 after 7 innings, the Express roared back with 4 unanswered runs to take game one of the North Division finals.
Strasburg scored 3 times in the 8th inning, with the big blow being a 2-run double by Jeremy Musser. The other run also scored on an RBI double- that one by Drew Johnson. In the 9th, Brandon Harvell singled with one out, and Drew Avans doubled him home with 2 outs.
Danny Rafferty came in at that point, and closed out the Cards in the 9th.
Dalton Rogers and Matt Jones tallied four hits each for the Cardinals. Michael Elwood pitched a very strong 6 innings and left the game with the lead, but the Cardinal bullpen didn’t hold. Chris Gammon received the loss.
Forrest Kirsch got the win for the Express in relief after Colby Nealy started and threw a solid first five. Musser drove in 3 runs, and Johnson scored twice for the victors.
Game two is in Strasburg tonight! The Express have a chance to make their second finals appearance in three years if they can close it out.