McGrath Mades Major League Debut!

Kyle McGrath SD 2017The San Diego Padres have called up former Staunton Brave Kyle McGrath (2011)!

By my count the 203rd Valley League alumnus to make his major league debut, Kyle ascended through the minors very quickly since he was drafted in the 36th round in the 2014 draft. The reason? He has been amazing at getting hitters out (which is a pitcher’s job, after all).

Initially assigned to the Arizona League, Kyle went 1-0, 0.79, with 22 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings and a 0.618 WHIP in his first pro season. In 2015, he pitched in Double-A for one game, but spent the rest of the year at Fort Wayne of the Midwest League, where he went 3-0, 1.70, with a 0.932 WHIP and 79 strikeouts in 68 2/3 innings.

Last year, in 2016, he pitched in one game in Triple-A, and went 1-0, 0.00 in 17 1/3 innings in Lake Elsinore of the California League, and 1-2, 1.29, with a 0.822 WHIP and 50 K’s in 48 2/3 innings for Double-A San Antonio.

This season, Kyle is 1-1, 2.66 at San Antonio, with a 0.845 WHIP and 27 K’s in 23 2/3 innings.

In his entire minor league career (so far), Kyle is 7-5, 1.61, with a 0.839 WHIP, 1.4 BB/9, and 10.1 K/9 in 184 2/3 innings (208 strikeouts!).

Kyle made his major league debut last night, July 30th, against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He threw a clean inning while striking out 2.

Congratulations, Kyle!


Playoff Results for Sunday July 30

Four games last night. Two teams were eliminated from the playoffs…


Waynesboro 5, Harrisonburg 3 (Generals win series, 2-0)
Purcellville 5, Winchester 3 (Cannons up 1-0)
Strasburg 14, New Market 6 (Series tied 1-1)
Charlottesville 10, Staunton 5 (Tom Sox win series, 2-0)

Hitter of the Day

Michael DeRenzi Charlottesville 2017Our hitter of the day is Charlottesville’s Michael DeRenzi, from Georgetown, who went 3-5, with 2 runs, 3 RBIs, a double, and a home run against the Braves. Michael hit 271/313/356 in 59 regular season at-bats, and this was his playoff debut.

Others of Note

Bryan Arias, Harrisonburg: 3-4, 2 runs, RBI, HR
Reid Long, Waynesboro: 3-4, 2 runs, RBI, 3B
Dakota Robbins, Waynesboro: 2-4, 3 RBIs
Nolan Ritchie, Purcellville: 2-4, 2 runs, RBI, HR
Jacob Rhinesmith, New Market: 3-6, run
Michael Neustifter, New Market: 3-5, run, 2 RBIs, HR
Sean Scales, Strasburg: 4-6, run, RBI
Jake Perry, Strasburg: 2-4, 3 runs, 2 BB, 2B
Tyler Martin, Strasburg: 2-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs
Philip Madonna, Strasburg: 2-4, 5 RBIs, 2B, 3B, HBP
Vinnie Pasquantino, Charlottesville: 2-5, 2 runs, RBI, HR
Ari Sechopoulos, Charlottesville: 2-4, 2 runs, RBI, BB, HR
Cole Migliorini, Charlottesville: 3-5, run, 2 RBIs, 2B
Max Wood, Staunton: 2-4, run, RBI, BB, 2B

Pitcher of the Day

We’ve seen many, many excellent pitching performances, but I’m not sure we’ve seen Tom Sutera Siena 2017anything like this: Purcellville’s Tom Sutera, from Siena, struck out 11 Winchester batters in a row last night! He threw 4 innings, and gave up a fly ball, and struck out 11. Amazing. He was amazing in the regular season, too, going 6-0, 1.57 in 34 1/3 innings.

Others of Note

Grant Suponchick, Waynesboro: 7 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K’s, win (56)
Kirk Maddox, New Market: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K’s in relief
Dylan Hall, Strasburg: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K’s, win (61)

Tonight’s Games

Strasburg at New Market, game 3 (I’m planning on attending this one)
Purcellville at Winchester, game 2 (Cannons up 1-0)
Waynesboro at Charlottesville (Semi-finals game 1)

Playoff Results, Saturday July 29

Three game ones were played last night, with the contest between Winchester and Purcellville rescheduled for tonight.


Waynesboro 2, Harrisonburg 1 (See my writeup here) (Generals up, 1-0)
Charlottesville 11, Staunton 2 (Tom Sox up, 1-0)
New Market 5, Strasburg 4 (Rebels score a shocking 4 runs in the bottom of the 9th, all unearned, all with 2 outs, to stun the Express) (Rebels up, 1-0)

Hitter of the Day

Ari Sechopoulos Charleston 2017Our HOD is Ari Sechopoulos, from Charlottesville and Charleston! Ari went 3-5 in the Tom Sox’s first p[layoff win in franchise history, with 2 runs, 3 RBIs, a double, and a home run.

Others of Note

Joe Lytle, Harrisonburg: 4-4, run, 3B
Michael Wielansky, Charlottesville: 2-3, 3 runs, RBI, BB, SF, SB
Vinnie Pasquantino, Charlottesville: 2-4, run, 2 2B, HBP
Eric Jones, Charlottesville: 3-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, 2B
Jeffrey Butler, Strasburg: 3-4, RBI
Philip Madonna, Strasburg: 3-3, RBI, BB
Jacob Rhinesmith, New Market: 3-5, 2 runs, RBI, HR
Alec Aleywine, New Market: 3-5, run, RBI, 2B, 3B, SB
Chase Sudduth, New Market: walk off RBI single in the bottom of the 9th

Pitcher of the Day

Waynesboro’s Payton Kinney, from Nebraska-Omaha, threw a complete game against thePayton Kinney NEbraska Omaha 2017 Turks, allowing only 6 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk, and striking out 4. He earned a game score of 74.

Others of Note

Matt Young, Harrisonburg: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K’s, loss (62)
Justin Sorokowski, Charlottesville: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K’s, win (66)
Ben Dum, Strasburg: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 10 K’s (66)

Tonight’s Games

Charlottesville at Staunton (God willing, I’ll be at this one)
Harrisonburg at Waynesboro
New Market at Strasburg
Winchester at Purcellville

Game Report: Waynesboro 2, Harrisonburg 1

It was hard to believe after the previous 36 hours or so of torrential downpours, but when the 7:30 start rolled around for this one, it was bright and sunny, and the turf at Veterans Memorial Park was bone dry. The warning track was a little damp, but the cool evening was perfect for baseball.

Perfect for pitching, maybe. The game was dominated by pitching as the Waynesboro Generals defeated the Harrisonburg Turks, 2-1, in the first game of their playoff series.

Waynesboro scored their first run, unearned, with an old fashioned sacrifice fly in the 4th inning. After a McClain Bradley single to lead off the inning off Turk starter Matt Young, Reid Long also singled. Both runners moved up on a passed ball, and Bradley scored on a James Consentino fly ball to right.

The Generals struck again in the 7th, this time off reliever Grant Stewart. With 2 outs, Joseph Bellini sliced a double down the right field line, and Patrick Cromwell followed with a triple into the right centerfield gap.

Harrisonburg threatened in the 6th, when both Austin Embler and Joe Lytle singled with two outs, but an Elliott Cary pop up ended the rally. The Turks cut the deficit to one in the 9th, when Lytle led off the inning with a triple into the left center field gap, and scored on a Bryan Arias groundout.

The real story, though, is Waynesboro starter Payton Kinney, who held the Turks to 6 hits, 1 walk, and 1 run while striking out 4 in a complete game effort. Kinney threw exactly 100 pitches in the contest.

A little “drama” unfolded in the bottom of the 8th inning, when Embler could not hang on to his bat, and twice launched his implement onto the roof of the General dugout. On a third swing, the bat flew into the Waynesboro dugout. No one was hurt.

The real drama happened after the top of the 9th, when Harrisonburg reliever Jarred Taylor took umbrage at a comment made from the General dugout, and both teams, including the Turk bullpen, met for a “chat” around home plate. Order was quickly restored, and both benches were warned by the umpiring crew.

Both teams will travel to Waynesboro for game two tomorrow evening, when the Turks will try to keep from becoming the 5th straight Turks squad to bow out in round one of the playoffs, and the Generals will attempt to move on to round 2 to meet the winner of Charlottesville and Staunton.

Playoffs! ATVL 9 Games in 9 Days?

I realized that this is the first summer I will be able to attend Valley League playoff games since…. 2010. (For those of you who don’t know, I live…. outside the Valley.)

But because I’m in the area for another 4 weeks, I think it’s time to go to as many playoff games as possible… indeed, perhaps one every night!

One game is already postponed tonight because of the heavy rains- Winchester at Purcellville. Therefore, I’ll play it safe and attend Waynesboro at Harrisonburg. Tomorrow night I will most likely go to Charlottesville at Staunton.

I hope to see you at a game soon!


Results from Thursday, July 27

Even with the rain, all games carried on…


Covington 2, Harrisonburg 0
Charlottesville 9, Staunton 4
Winchester 10, Purcellville 2
Strasburg 11, Front Royal 7
New Market 11, Woodstock 6

Hitter of the Day

Kyle Battle ODU 2017Our HOD is Charlottesville’s Kyle Battle, from Old Dominion! Kyle went 3-3 last night, with 3 runs, 3 RBIs, a walk, double, and home run. Kyle finished the regular season at 244/298/309 in 123 at-bats.

Others of Note

Caleb Walls, Covington: 2-3, run, BB, SB
Jat Charleston, Staunton: 2 stolen bases, giving him 39 for the year: according to both my records and Chaz Weaver’s, this is the most in the history of the VBL!
Max Wood, Staunton: 2-4, run, 2 RBIs, HR, ended regular season with a 21-game hitting streak
Michael Wielansky, Charlottesville; 2-4, run, 2 RBIs, 2 2B, ended regular season with a .432 batting average!
Dillon Reed, Winchester: 1-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs, 2 BB, 2B
Alex Reynolds, Winchester: 2-4, 3 RBIs, HBP
Alejandro Rivero, Winchester: 2-4, run, BB, 2B
Seth Woodard, Winchester: 2-3, 2 runs, 2 BB
Turner Buis, Strasburg: 3-4, 2 runs, BB
Kenny Bergmann, Front Royal: 3-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, 2B, HR
Connor Golden, Woodstock: 2-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, 2 HRs
Jordan Braniff, Woodstock: 2-4, run, 2B, 3B
Blake Reese, New Market: 2-3, 3 runs, 2 RBIs, 2 BB, HR, 2 SB
Jacob Rhinesmith, New Market: 3-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs, HR
Jake Washer, New Market: 3-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, 2B, HR

Pitcher of the Day

Our POD is Covington’s Reed McNeer, from Concord! Reed went 6 shutout innings against Reed McNeer Concord 2017the Turks while allowing 4 hits, 0 walks, and striking out 3. He’s now 2-1, 6.75 over 13 1/3 innings this summer. I believe Reed is transferring to West Virginia Tech this fall.

Others of Note

John Gregory, Harriosnburg: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K’s, loss (54)
Robert Bamford, Winchester: 6 .IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K’s, win in relief
Jackson Ray, Strasburg: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K’s

Friday Night’s Game

New Market at Strasburg (I really wonder if this game will be played. It has no bearing in the standings… and it may rain, too)

PLAYOFFS START SATURDAY! (Playoff update coming soon)