Strawberries And Cream

Greetings from The Booth!

As we get ready to celebrate the long 4th Of July weekend, the awards and accolades continue to pour in for the Shenandoah University baseball team. Earlier this week the Virginia State Sports Information Directors Association handed out it’s all-state honors, and at the top of the list was Head Hornet Kevin Anderson, who was named VaSID Coach Of The Year. It’s his 4th such award, with 3 coming at SU, and his 9th overall Coach Of The Year accolade. Several of his players were also named by the organization.  Kyle Lisa, Henry Delavergne, and Calvin Pastel are first-team honorees, while Pearce Bucher and Frankie Ritter were second-team picks. Congratulations, guys!

I don’t often write about tennis, but this week the Wimbledon fortnight has begun across the pond, and the early shocker is the first-round loss by Serena Williams to 115th ranked Harmony Tan of France in a 3-set thriller. I didn’t realize this, but Serena is 40, which is Methuselah in tennis years. The ageless Williams has been so good for so long that it’s easy to forget that she is at the tail end of her career. She has been the Tom Brady of tennis. Serena was noncommittal when asked if the aforementioned loss was her final match, but my gut tells me that she doesn’t want to go out like this.

Thinking of Wimbledon takes me back to the mid-70s through the early 80s when I was really into tennis. Summer nights would find me either at Lambert Park or Oatsdale Park in Martinsburg with my Wilson T-2000 and a fresh can of balls from Coaches Supply, ready for a set or two. It was nothing to stay on the courts until 10 pm and beyond. I also bought the tennis mags and followed the fortunes of my favorites like Borg, Connors, and Evert.

What made tennis great in those days were the rivalries, and the rivalries were great because of the contrast in styles. There is nothing today that compares to the icy coolness of Bjorn Borg going against the fiery Jimmy Connors or the volatile John McEnroe. How about Chris Evert versus Martina Navratilova? Give me a comparable contemporary feud–I’ll bet you can’t (OK, I’ll give you Djokovic-Nadal). And tennis had some great villains. Ilie Nastase comes to mind, along with Connors and McEnroe. It was a great time to be a tennis fan.

And I would always wake up in time for “Breakfast At Wimbledon” on NBC. No one could call a match like Dick Enberg (“Oh my!”) and Bud Collins.  The matches would start early in the morning and continue into the afternoon on Wimbledon weekends, and there was little that could pull me away from the TV.

Eventually, my interest in tennis would wane, along with American prominence in the sport. But the two weeks of Wimbledon always has me scrambling to find a can of balls and that Wilson T-2000…

Enjoy the Fortnight, and until the next visit from The Booth…GO HORNETS!




Sports: Thursday, August 26, 2021

Nats Nipped By Marlins, O’s End Streak With A Win, LL Sensation Tosses Second No-Hitter

The Washington Nationals dropped a 4-3 decision to the Miami Marlins last night, as the Marlins scored a run in the bottom of the 10th inning for the walk-off win. Nats’ starter Josiah Gray was impressive once again, giving up just 2 runs and striking out 7 in 6 innings of work. Riley Adams had 2 hits, while Josh Bell drove in 2 for the Nationals, who go for the series win tonight against the Fish. Air time is 6:40 on Sports Radio 1450.

The Baltimore Orioles finally got a win last night, beating the LA Angels 10-6, snapping their 19-game losing streak. The O’s posted 5 runs in the 8th to end MLB’s longest skid since 2005. The Birds and Angels play again today at 1:05.

South Dakota pitcher Gavin Weir threw his second no-hitter of the Little League World Series yesterday, as his Sioux Falls team beat California 1-0 to advance to the finals of the Tom Seaver bracket. Weir struck out 14 over 6 innings, five days after pitching in a combined no-hitter against Louisiana.

And, both Venus and Serena Williams announced that they would not be playing in next week’s US Open tennis tournament, citing injuries. It marks the first time since 2003 that neither of the sisters were in the tournament.

Sports: Wednesday, June 30, 2021

VBL Results, Another Schwarber Blast Propels Nats, O’s Rout ‘Stros

Last night’s Valley Baseball League action saw Front Royal out-slug Winchester 16-14. Strasburg railroaded Woodstock 22-6, while Purcellville beat New Market 7-2. Waynesboro and Charlottesville also picked up wins.

Tonight’s limited VBL slate includes Purcellville at Woodstock.

Washington’s Kyle Schwarber set a modern day mark with his 12th home run in 10 games as the Nationals nipped Tampa Bay 4-3. Juan Soto and Victor Robles also added homers, while Joe Ross pitched 6 and 1/3 innings of 2-run baseball , as the Nats went over the .500 mark at 39-38. The two teams play again this afternoon, with air time set for 3:35 on Sports Radio 1450.

The Baltimore Orioles broke open a tight contest by scoring 10 of their runs in the final 3 innings in a 13-3 rout of Houston last night. The Birds, who collected 16 hits on the night, were led by Cedric Mullins, who went 4-for-5, while driving in 2. The two clubs play tonight at 8:10.

And, at Wimbledon, Roger Federer advanced, while Serena Williams was forced to bow out after suffering an ankle injury in her first-round match.

Sports: Monday, June 7, 2021

VBL Results, Nats Fall To Phils, O’s Rout Tribe

In the Valley Baseball League yesterday, Staunton took two from Front Royal 8-6 & 11-8, Strasburg swept a twinbill from Waynesboro 11-4 & 5-2, and Woodstock split a doubleheader from Charlottesville, winning the opener 4-3 and dropping the nightcap 4-1. Tonight 3 games are on tap, including Winchester at New Market.

The Washington Nationals opted for a “bullpen game” in the absence of a fifth starter, and lost 12-6 to Philadelphia. The Phils erased a 3-0 Nats lead with 7 runs in the 4th inning on the way to the victory. Juan Soto went 2-for-4 and drove in 2 for Washington, who have the day off today.

The Baltimore Orioles pounded out 21 hits on the way to an 18-5 win over Cleveland yesterday. Four different Orioles had 3 hits apiece, including center fielder Cedric Mullins, who had five hits on Saturday. The Orioles, who are 4-1 in June, start a series with the Mets tomorrow.

Other tidbits from the weekend:

Kyle Larson won his second straight NASCAR Cup Series race, taking the checkered flag at Sonoma Raceway…

Patrick Cantlay defeated Collin Morikawa in a playoff to win the PGA Tour’s Memorial Tournament…

And, Serena Williams lost in the fourth round of the French Open Tennis Tournament, while Roger Federer withdrew after a long third round win on Saturday.

Sports: Thursday, June 3, 2021

Nats Nip Braves, O’s Double Up Twins, Wizards Eliminated

Yan Gomes’ home run in the 8th inning was the difference in the Washington Nationals’ 5-3 win over Atlanta last night. Juan Soto also went deep for the Nats, who won their second straight against the Braves. The two teams play the getaway game of the series today, starting at 11:50 am, on Sports Radio 1450.

In other Nationals’ news, the club has placed pitcher Stephen Strasburg on the 10 day injured list, due to a strained neck.

The Baltimore Orioles also won their second straight, beating the Twins 6-3 last night at Camden Yards. Ryan Mountcastle led the O’s attack with 2 hits and 3 RBI. The Birds are off today before starting a weekend series with the Indians tomorrow.

The Philadelphia 76ers pulled away from the Washington Wizards in the second half and advanced to the second round of the NBA Playoffs with a 129-112 win last night. The Wizards, who were eliminated 4 games to 1, got a combined 56 points from Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook.

And, Serena Williams was among the winners on Day 4 of the French Open Tennis Tournament.