A Valley Tradition Begins Again
Greetings From The Booth!
Time to put a bow on Shenandoah University Spring sports, as the Hornet Baseball team saw it’s season come to an end this past weekend. As the saying goes, it was “2 and BBQ” at the Super Regional in Baltimore, as SU was eliminated by Johns Hopkins. The Hornets were just 2 wins away from their third-ever appearance in the D-3 College World Series, and when the disappointment of being that close wears off, Kevin Anderson and his squad will take pride in a 35-15 season, and ODAC Championship, and an NCAA Regional title. Congrats on a job well done!
Now we await Fall sports slate at SU. I can almost hear the crack of the shoulder pads at Shentel…
Until then, we can entertain ourselves with another season of Valley Baseball League action. The so-called “Gateway To The Majors” begins this weekend, as 11 teams from Winchester to Charlottesville compete for the Lineweaver Cup.
The NCAA and MLB sanctioned VBL was chartered back in 1897 and is truly a slice of Americana. College players converge on the Shenandoah Valley from all over the country in hopes of honing their craft and catching the eye of a major league team, and some do eventually make it to “The Show.” Players are housed by area residents, who often form lifelong bonds with their temporary house
Here’s what you can expect from a few area VBL teams this year in our “mini-preview” of the 2019 Valley League season…
Front Royal Cardinals:
The Cards are coming off a 24-18 season that was good for second place in the North Division, and a VBL playoff berth. Front Royal will have a new coach on board this season, as Tony Hurla (Kansas Christian College) takes the reins. Hurla is bringing in plenty of offensive firepower to fit the friendly confines of Bing Crosby Stadium. The Cardinals will open up the season in Staunton this Friday (May 31). Get out to “The Bing” for a fun time this season!
The Royals will be led by a familiar name, new coach Mike Smith. Smith, who hails from Charles Town, WV., still coaches at Clarke County HS in Berryvlle, and will be doing his second stint with the Royals. In addition, Smith has an extensive baseball resume, which includes working with Kevin Anderson as an assistant at Shenandoah University. The local flavor continues on the field with WVU product Beau Lowery, part of the famous local Lowery lineage, and Winchester’s own Alex Amos, a former All-ACC Freshman Team member at Pitt. The Royals begin on June 1, when they host Front Royal at Bridgeforth Field. Admission for the opener is free, so get out there and be “Loyal to the Royals!”
The Express are looking for a return to the playoffs in 2019 after missing the post season last year for only the second time in it’s history. Strasburg will also have a new head man, as Brock Moss takes the controls. Moss is the Pitching Coach at Georgia Highlands, and has two power arms in Landen Nevill and Christian McGowan. A player who should be fun to watch is Noah Myers, who swiped 77 bases (in 78 attempts!) for Wabash Valley this past Spring. Get to First Bank Park this Summer, as the Strasburg Express look to be “back on track” in 2019.
That’s our preview of a few of the local squads this year as another Valley League season begins. If you’re looking for fun, affordable family entertainment, take in a VBL game or two near you and we’ll see you at the ballgame!
Until next time…GO HORNETS!