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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!
North Blanks South In VBL All-Star Game, Nats Swept, ChiSox Edge O’s
In the Valley League All-Star Game last night in Harrisonburg, the North blanked the South 5-0. The VBL resumes tonight with New market at Winchester, Front Royal at Strasburg, and Woodstock at Purcellville. At the break, Strasburg leads the North Division, while Charlottesville has a commanding 8 game lead in the South.
The depleted Washington Nationals wrapped up a 2-9 road trip with a 3-1 loss yesterday to the San Francisco Giants. Former Oriole Kevin Gausman stopped the Nats on just 4 hits over 6 innings to get the win. Starlin Castro had 3 hits for the Nationals, who head into the MLB All Star break at 42-47, 6 games behind the NL East-leading Mets.
The Baltimore Orioles dropped a 10-inning 7-5 decision to the Chicago White Sox yesterday at Camden Yards. The O’s tied the game at 4 with 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th, only to see Chicago score 3 in the top of the extra frame. The Orioles head into the All-Star break at 28-61.
Novak Djokovic won the Men’s singles title Wimbledon yesterday, giving him a record-tying 20th Grand Slam title. Ash Barty won the Women’s title on Saturday.
And, Kurt Busch beat Kyle Busch yesterday at the NASCAR Cup Series race in Atlanta.
VBL Scoreboard, Padres Walk Off Nats, O’s-Chisox Tonight
In the Valley Baseball League last night, Strasburg got past Front Royal 6-2, Woodstock blanked New Market 8-0, and Winchester at Purcellville was postponed.
Games tonight in the VBL include Winchester at Front Royal, Strasburg at Woodstock, and New Market at Purcellville. On Sunday, the Valley League All-Star Game will take place at JMU’s Veterans Memorial Park at 7:30, with activities starting at 3:30.
The Washington Nationals blew an 8-0 lead and lost to San Diego last night 9-8. The Padres completed their comeback by plating a run in the bottom of the 9th to drop the Nats to 42-44 on the season. Trea Turner led the Nationals with 3 hits and 3 RBI. The Nats head to San Francisco to start a weekend series leading into the MLB All-Star break. Air time tonight is 9:15 on Sports Radio 1450.
The Baltimore Orioles begin a weekend set against the Chicago White Sox tonight. First pitch is set for 7:05 from Camden Yards.
Ash Barty will take on Karolina Pliskova for the Wimbledon Women’s title tomorrow. The men’s semifinals are today.
The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Atlanta Sunday for the Quaker State 400, and on the PGA Tour, Sebastian Munoz and Chesson Hadley are tied for the lead after Round One of the John Deere Classic.
VBL Results, Nats Rout Padres, Jays Pound O’s
In the Valley Baseball League last night, Front Royal silenced Purcellville 11-4, Winchester routed Woodstock 14-6, while Charolttesville and Staunton were also winners.
Tonight’s VBL slate has Front Royal hosting Strasburg, Winchester heading to Purcellville, and New Market entertaining Woodstock.
The Washington Nationals got out to a 10-0 lead against San Diego, and cruised to a 15-5 road win last night. The Nats pounded out 17 hits against Padres’ pitching, including 3 by Josh Bell, while Juan Soto, Josh Harrison, and Starlin Castro all drove in 3 runs. Patrick Corbin pitched 6 innings of stress-free, 2-run baseball to get the win for the Nationals, who take on San Diego tonight starting at 8:40 on Sports radio 1450.
The Toronto Blue Jays collected 15 hits on the way to as 10-2 win over Baltimore last night. The O’s and Jays meet again tonight at 7:05 at Camden Yards.
At Wimbledon, top-seed Novak Djokovic won his quarterfinal match, while 6-seed Roger Federer was upset.
And, tampa Bay won the NHL Stanley Cup last night with a 1-0 shutout win over Montreal. The Lightning won the series 4 games to 1.
VBL Scoreboard, Nats Fall To Padres, O’s Clip Blue Jays
In the Valley Baseball League last night, Front Royal nipped Purcellville 10-9, New Market took down Woodstock 8-2, and Winchester routed Strasburg 18-2.
Tonight’s games include Front Royal at Purcellville, and Winchester at Woodstock.
The Washington Nationals dropped a 7-4 decision at San Diego last night. The Nats overcame a 3-0 deficit with a Josh Harrison 3-run blast in the 5th inning, before the Padres responded with 3 more in their half of the frame. Erick Fedde, just off the injured list, took the loss for the 41-43 Nationals. the two teams play again tonight, starting at 9:40 on Sports Radio 1450.
The Baltimore Orioles jumped out to a 7-1 lead and held on for a 7-5 win over Toronto last night. Every starter had at least one hit for the Birds, who take on the Jays again tonight at 7:05.
Top-seeded Ash Barty advanced to the Women’s Quarterfinals yesterday at Wimbledon. The Men’s Quarterfinals are today.
And, the Phoenix Suns won Game 1 of the NBA Finals last night, beating Milwaukee 118-105.