The Rockbridge Rapids’ 2012 season came to a close on Saturday night when the lost to the Harrisonburg Turks for the second time in as many days.
Rockbridge showed that they weren’t fazed by their one hit performance the night before with a two run third inning to take a 2-1 lead, but they did not have enough to top the Turks.
The scoring went back and forth for the rest of the game with the Turks taking a 5-3 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.
There seemed to still be hope in a memorable ninth inning. Connor Andrus came to bat as a pinch hitter and worked a 2-1 count before apparently getting hit by a pitch. As he went to take first base home plate umpire Jason Morgan called him back. Morgan called the pitch a strike instead and that the count was 2-2.
Andrus argued and got thrown out, shortly joined by Head Coach Evan Wise and First-base Coach Cliff Jackson.
Jeremey Jansen came up as a pinch hitter and finished the at bat for Andrus, working a walk. Catcher Stephen Crowe, who already hit a solo home run in the game, came up next but was unable to repeat or at least move the runner with a pop up to first.
With one on and one out second baseman All-Star Chandler Smetana came up to the plate. Turks reliever Shawn O’Neill was able to end all hopes for the Rapids by getting Smetana to hit a ball to second baseman Thomas Smith that was turned into a double play to end the game.
With the loss the Rapids’ end their season with a 22-24 record. The Turks advance to the next round of the playoffs against the Waynesboro Generals.
Harrisonburg Turk Dillon Ortman pitched a one-hitter to keep the Rapids off of the bases and off of the scoreboard in the playoff series opener tonight.
Ortman struck out seven while pitching a complete game. The Turk’s sole error came in the third inning when third baseman Andrew Willingham reached first on a fielding error by second baseman Mark Lumpa. Left fielder Eric Renegar then singled to right field to put men on first and second with one out. The Rapids were unable to score, and unable to get another baserunner for the rest of the night.
Ryan Jones started for the Rapids, allowing just one run in six innings of pitching. The Rapids gave up just one more run in the 2-0 loss.
The Turks left 13 men on base, but it did not come back to haunt them thanks to Ortman’s strong showing.
The Rapids and the Turks face off again tomorrow in Lexington for the second game of the best-of-three series. If the Rapids lose then their season is over. In the case that they win they will play a deciding game three at Harrisonburg on Sunday night.
The Rapids lost both games of a double-header versus Waynesboro on Wednesday night.
Game one was tied at two for most of the game. The difference in the game was two unearned runs scored by Waynesboro in the top of the seventh inning. The Rapids were unable to score in the bottom of the seventh and lost the game 4-2.
In Game two the Rapids sat out some of their starters so they could have some rest before the playoffs began. Those sitting during the nightcap include Cody Dolan and Chandler Smetana, as well as keeping members of the pitching staff off of the mound.
Connor Lewis started for the Rapids on the mound and let up just one run in two innings. The Generals blew the game open with a five-run third inning off of Marcus Wojtkowizc.
The Generals kept piling on runs as the game progressed and defeated the Rapids 15-1. Catcher Connor Andrus had the only RBI for the Rapids, hitting a double in the fourth inning to score Stephen Crowe.
The playoffs begin tonight. The Rapids will be traveling to Harrisonburg to face the Turks in a 7:30 contest to begin the best-of-three series. Game two will be tomorrow in Lexington at 7 pm and if needed, game three will be in Harrisonburg on Sunday.
Connor Lewis went 2-4 with three RBI and Heath Gray pitched 1.2 innings of hitless relief in the Rapids 6-2 win over New Market tonight to clinch the third seed in the playoffs.
The Rapids were down 2-0 until the sixth inning until they were able to put together a two-out rally to score three runs.
Shortstop Brody Greer worked a walk with two outs and advanced to second on a single by designated hitter Cody Dolan. Center fielder Chase Corn hit a single through the right side to score Greer. Both Dolan and Corn scored on a double by Lewis for two of his three RBI.
The Rapids were able to break the game open in the eighth inning. Once again it was Greer who got things started by getting on base after being hit by a pitch. Dolan moved Greer to second with a sacrifice bunt before Greer tagged up and moved to third on a fly out to center by Corn. Lewis hit his second two out double of the game to score Greer and scored on a single by catcher Stephen Crowe.
Brandon Thigpen came up next, pinch hitting for third baseman Andrew Willingham. In his first at bat since June 23 he hit a standup triple to score Lewis and move the Rapids up 6-2.
Gray returned to the mound, pitching a 1-2-3 inning to end the game and clinch the third spot in the playoffs for the Rapids.
The Rapids will be finishing up their regular season tomorrow with a double header against South Division leader Waynesboro. The first game is slated for 6 pm.
Starting pitcher Jeremy Jansen held the Covinginton Jacks to just two hits during six innings of pitching and the Rapids scored two runs in the fifth to top the Jacks 2-0 last night.
The Rapids got in trouble on the defensive side of the ball multiple times, including the Jacks loading the bases with no outs in the ninth against closer Kevin McCulloh. McCulloh was able to keep the Jacks off of the scoreboard and secure the win for the Rapids by getting the next out.
Leading the way for the Rapids was second baseman Chandler Smetana and shortstop Brody Greer. Smetana went 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Greer returned to the lineup after missing the past few games and went 1 for 3 with an RBI.
With the win the Rapids now just need to win just one of their next three games or have Staunton lose its final game of the season to make the playoffs.
Tonight the Rapids face off against New Market at home in a 7 pm contest before taking part in a double-header tomorrow against Waynesboro to close out the regular season.
A five-run ninth inning was not enough for the Rapids to catch up to the Harrisonburg Turks in a 12-8 loss.
The Rapids were hurt by their five errors. Out of the 12 runs that the Turks scored only six were earned runs.
The game was tied until the top of the fourth inning when the Turks broke open the game and scored four runs off of starter Levi Mauldin.
The Rapids were unable again and the Turks struck again in the sixth. They scored two runs, one earned, off of Brandon Thigpen making his pitching debut.
Rockbridge was able to score a run in sixth inning when center fielder Chase Corn scored off of first baseman Connor Lewis’ double but were unable to close the gap any more.
The Turks were not done scoring with an 8-3 lead. They scored three more in the eighth off of Lewis, moving from first base to the mound, and one more run in the ninth to seemingly put the game out of reach for the Rapids.
In the ninth the Rapids showed that they had not given up hopes of winning, even when down 12-3.
Catcher Stephen Crowe led off the inning with a double and scored two batters later off of a double by left fielder Eric Renegar. It seemed that luck was on the side of the Rapids as the Turks committed three errors.
The Rapids had already scored five runs in in the inning and had the bases loaded when shortstop Andrew Barna walked up to the plate. The Turks brought in Alex Cruz to face Barna. Cruz won the battle, striking out Barna and ending the game.
The Rapids’ magic number remains at two with the loss and a victory by Staunton last night. The Rapids have four games left and Staunton has two games remaining.
Tonight Rockbridge travels to Covington to face the Jacks’ for the final time this season. New Market makes the trip to Lexington tomorrow and Waynesboro comes for a double-header beginning at 6 pm on Wednesday.
Cole Cromer was able to work out of an early jam and calm down to pitch six innings to earn the victory in an 8-2 Rapids win over the Staunton Braves last night.
In the second inning the Braves had men on second and third with no outs. Cromer was able to get out of the inning without a run scoring.
Cromer allowed just two hits from the third inning on.
Leading the way for the Rapids at the plate was designated hitter Stephen Crowe. Crowe, who hit a home run in the Rapids win over New Market on Friday, was 3 for 4 with 2 RBI. Shortstop Andrew Barna had 3 RBI off of his two hits, including an RBI triple in the fourth inning.
With the win the Rapids improve to 19-18 and move into a tie for third place in the South Division with New Market.
Additionally, the magic number for the Rapids moved down to two. Over the course of the final five games of the season, the Rapids need combined win total and Staunton loss total of two to clinch a spot in the playoffs.
The Rapids will attempt to lower that number tonight as they face Harrisonburg in a 7 pm contest at Cap’n Dick Smith Field in Lexington.
In another rain shortened game left fielder Cody Dolan went 4-4 to lead the Rapids to a 7-0 victory over the New Market Rebels.
Starting pitcher Heath Gray pitched five scoreless innings before the game was called due to rain.
The Rapids took the lead from the start after loading the bases with just one out in the first inning. Rebel’s starting pitcher Michael Deitsch then walked first baseman Connor Lewis to score one and keep the bases loaded. Shortstop Brody Greer scored the second run of the inning by tagging up on a sacrifice fly by third baseman Andrew Willingham. Deistch was able to get out of the inning when designated hitter Connor Andrus flew out to left field.
The Rapids were able to extend their 2-0 lead in the second inning. They scored three runs off of three hits, including a solo home run by catcher Stephen Crowe.
The Rebels were not able to put anything together throughout the evening. Gray, earning his third win of the season, allowed just three hits over the course of the game. The Rapids defense stepped up behind him, not having an error for the second game in a row.
The Rapids are now 19-19 and extend their lead for the final playoff spot. The Staunton Braves, the fifth place team, lost to Waynesboro last night.
The Rapids face off against the Braves tonight in a 7 pm game at Cap’n Dick Smith Field.
Tonight’s double-header against Waynesboro has been postponed due to rain. It has been rescheduled for Wednesday, July 25. The first game starts at 6 pm.
The Generals stuck first and the Rapids were unable to catch up in a lightning-shortened game last night.
The game, delayed 30 minutes due to rain earlier in the day, was stopped at the start of the bottom of the fifth inning when lightning flashed in the distance. The Generals, holding a 4-0 lead when the delay was initially called, became the victors when the game was declared finished at 9:38.
The Rapids fell behind early when starting pitcher Levi Mauldin gave up a solo home run with two outs to first baseman Jacob Hoyle.
Mauldin gave up another run in the third inning, as well as two runs in the fourth. With men on first and third and Hoyle coming back up to the plate in the fourth, the Rapids brought in Garrett Brister. Brister got Hoyle to pop out to shortstop Brody Greer to end the inning.
Although Brister got the Rapids out of the jam, the team was not able to respond with runs of their own.
The Rapids were able to get on base throughout the evening, but once again were unable to plate the base runners. The Rapids left seven men on base last night.
Rockbridge faces Waynesboro again tonight in a double-header at Cap’n Dick Smith Field. Game one starts at 6 pm.