Rockbridge Rapids

Exciting baseball, delicious food, and family fun at Cap'n Dick Smith Field in Lexington, Virginia

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Jacks cut into Rapids lead for final playoff spot

            The Rapids continue to leave men on base, leaving nine men on including six in scoring position in a 6-3 loss to Covington Tuesday evening.

            The Rapids took an early lead off of a solo home run by shortstop Brody Greer in the first inning but were unable to keep the Jacks off of the scoreboard.

            Rapids’ starter Jeremy Jansen had to work his way out of trouble all evening. He allowed the first batter to reach base in five of the seven innings that he started. Jansen allowed four runs in 6.1 innings on the mound, forcing the Jacks to leave six of their own on base when working out of jams.

            Once again it looked like the Rapids were starting to put things together at the plate late in the game. In the seventh they had men on second and third after scoring a run and there was only one out. Jacks’ relief pitcher Calvin Rayburn came in to pitch and got out of the jam, forcing Greer to groundout to third and striking out All-Star designated hitter Cody Dolan.

            The Rapids were able to score another run in the eighth. In the bottom of the ninth the Rapids had men on first and second with two outs and Dolan coming up to the plate. Jacks’ closer Nolan Houmes got Dolan to fly out to center field, earning his first save of the season.

            The Rapids are now 18-18 on the season and are still holding onto the final playoff spot of the South Division.

            The Staunton Braves (17-21) snapped their six-game losing streak last night, gaining a game on the Rapids.

            Tonight the Rapids travel to Waynesboro to face the first place Generals at 7 pm. The Rapids also host a double-header against the Generals tomorrow, starting at 6 pm.  

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Rapids lose third home game in a row

            The Rockbridge Rapids scored six runs over the course of the seventh and eighth innings but it was not enough to top the Strasburg Express in an 8-6 loss last night.

            In a slugfest where every starter on both teams had at least one hit, the two teams combined for twenty seven hits.

            Leading the way for the Rapids was first baseman Connor Lewis. Lewis had two hits, including a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth. Third baseman Eric Renegar also had two RBI off of a seventh inning home run with two outs.

            The Rapids were unable to capitalize on their hits early in the game. They left seven men on base before they scored their first run in the seventh inning. In the third inning the Rapids had the bases loaded with nobody out but were unable to score a run.

Starting pitcher Cole Cramer took the loss for the Rapids, giving up four runs in six innings of pitching.

The Express extended their lead to 8-0 when Garrett Brister came in for relief in the seventh, giving up four runs of his own without getting a single out. Daniel Hyatt came in to stop the bleeding, pitching three innings of scoreless baseball.

The Rapid, now 18-17, remain in fourth place in the South Division. New Market won again, boasting a five game winning streak, to move to 18-15 and keep the third place slot.

The Rapids play again this evening as they face the Covington Jacks in a 7 pm contest at home.

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Rapids stop losing skid

            Designated hitter Cody Dolan hit a three run home run and Rapids’ relievers combined for 3.2 innings of scoreless baseball in a Rapids’ 9-5 victory over the Staunton Braves last night.

            The game was tight for through the first six innings. The Rapids and Braves were tied at 5 until the top of the sixth inning. The Rapids scored an unanswered run in the sixth before blowing the game opening in the seventh.

            With two on and two outs in the seventh Dolan hit a home run over the left center field fence to take the lead for good.            

            Kyle Tate came in to pitch a 1-2-3 eighth for the Rapids, and Kevin McCulloh came in to close the game in the ninth.

            Earning the win for the Rapids was relief pitcher Kyler Morgan. Morgan pitched a scoreless 1.2 innings, giving up just one hit.

            With the win the Rapids move to an 18-16 record. They remain in fourth place in the South Division.

            Tonight the Rapids play North Division squad Strasburg in a 7 pm contest at Cap’n Dick Smith Field in Lexington.

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Rapids fall to fourth in the division

            In a wet pitchers’ duel New Market was able to top Rockbridge 3-0 on Saturday. The second game of the scheduled double-header got postponed due to the rain.

            Rapids’ starting pitcher Tyler Broome had a no hitter going through the first five innings of game one, but the Rapids’ offense was unable to give much help.  

            The Rapids got their only two hits of the game in the second inning. With the bases loaded and one out Rebels’ starter Chad Kuhl got right fielder Andrew Barna to strike out swinging before forcing left fielder Eric Renegar into hitting into a fielder’s choice.

            New Market was able to get onto the scoreboard after a sloppy third inning by the Rapids. With one out, catcher Andrew Burgess walked. Burgess was able to advance to second, and then to third, on two wild pitches. Broome then walked the next batter, left fielder Tyler Slaton. Slaton stole second, but Burgess was tagged at home attempting to score on the play. Slaton was then able to score on an error by first baseman Connor Lewis.

            The Rapids only allowed one run in the third inning, but the damage had been done.

            Neither team got a hit again until New Market came up to the plate in the sixth. Center fielder Mac Hudgins led off the inning for the Rebels with a single to right center, and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by shortstop Matt Ford. Hudgins was then able to score on a double by second baseman Matt Dickason.

            As the ball was being thrown to second base lightening was spotted, delaying the game by at least thirty minutes. The rain followed, delaying the game for over an hour before the two teams decided to at least try and finish the first game.

            Designated hitter Justin Lacy led off for the Rebels after the rain delay and reached on an error by second baseman Chandler Smetana. Dickason scored on the play to stretch the lead to 3-0.

            The Rapids were unable to chip into the Rebels’ lead in the remaining inning and a half of play.

            With the loss the Rapids fall to 17-16, and fall to fourth place in the South Division. New Market rises to the third place spot with a 17-15 record.

            The Rapids play again tomorrow when they travel to Staunton for a 7:30 contest. Staunton is currently fifth in the South Division with a 16-20 record.

            The second game of the double header has been re-scheduled for Tuesday July 24th at 7 pm. It will be played at Cap’n Dick Smith Field in Lexington.

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Jacks cut into Rapids’ lead

           The Rockbridge Rapids gave up 6 runs in the first inning and were never able to catch up in a 9-1 loss to the Covington Jacks on Friday.

            The Jacks were aided by two Rapids’ errors. The Jacks were also aided by a wild pitch on a strikeout that would have been the third out of the inning. The Jacks would have left one man on without scoring.

            The Jacks were led at the plate by first baseman Dustin Arrowood. Arrowood went 3 for 4 with two RBI. He hit a double in the first inning that scored two.

            Rapids’ starting pitcher Daniel Hyatt was able to recover on the mound, allowing just four more hits and two runs over the next five innings.

            The Rapids were not able to respond to the Jacks’ first inning. Jacks’ pitcher Tyler Redding kept the Rapids to just three hits over seven innings of pitching. The Rapids were unable to score until the sixth inning.

            The Jacks scored another in the sixth to keep a six run lead, and scored another in the eighth off of a home run by center fielder Seth Miller.   

            With the loss, the Rapids fall to 17-15 but keep the third place spot in the South Division. New Market defeated Luray to pull within one game of Rockbridge. Staunton lost both games of a double header to Waynesboro to remain one game behind Rockbridge.

            The Rapids face New Market today in a double header. Game one begins at 6 pm at Cap’n Dick Smith Field.

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Tight race to the finish

            In a season filled with rainouts, the last two weeks of the regular season are packed with games and a tight race for the final playoff spots in the South Division.

            Rockbridge, currently in third place with a 17-14 record, is followed closely by New Market (15-15) and Staunton (16-17).

            The Rapids are trying to build a gap between them and the Rebels and Braves, winning two of their last three games.

            On Wednesday the Rapids traveled to Woodstock to face the River Bandits and came out with a 9-2 victory. Cole Cramer pitched a complete game for the Rapids, giving up eight hits and striking out five. The game was tight until the seventh inning. Tied at 2-2, the Rapids put up seven runs in the inning to which the River Bandits were never able to respond to.

            The following day the Rapids had a double header against the South Division leader Harrisonburg Turks.

            In game one, the Rapids were held hitless until the fourth inning. The Turks scored three in the third and the Rapids were unable to overcome the deficit. The Rapids challenged the Turks in the seventh with bases loaded and no outs. The Turks were able to get out of the inning with just one run scoring with the help of a game ending double play.

            Jeremy Jansen took the loss, pitching all seven innings for the Rapids.

            Rockbridge turned it around in the nightcap. Left fielder Cody Dolan and first baseman Andrew Willingham led the Rapids with two RBI apiece in the 6-1 victory.

            The Rapids went out to an early 6-0 lead after scoring one in the second and five in the third. Starting pitcher Levi Mauldin kept the Turks off of the board until the seventh inning. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, catcher AJ Murray singled up the middle and scored on a double by shortstop RJ Perucki. Mauldin was able to finish the game and earn the victory when he got second baseman Mark Lumpa to ground out to shortstop.

            The Rapids have a busy schedule ahead of them. With no days off, the Rapids will play 13 games in 11 days to finish off the regular season.  

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Rainouts continue

Tonight’s makeup game versus the New Market Rebels was rained out. It will be made up on Saturday when the Rapids’ scheduled game versus New Market becomes a double header. This will be the next time the Rapids play at home, after three away games in a row.

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In a game filled with errors, Rapids come out on top

            The Rockbridge Rapids were able capitalize on the Front Royal Cardinals eight errors and Kevin McCulloh pitched a scoreless ninth inning on Saturday to come out on top 10-7.

            In Front Royal, the Rapids jumped out to a 3-0 lead by the end of the second and led 7-1 after the fourth. The Cardinals pulled to within two in the bottom of the fifth.

            The first three Cardinal batters reached in the fifth inning before Rapids’ starting pitcher Tyler Broome got catcher Keaton Neeb to ground out to short. The next two batters reached base, one on an error and one on a walk. After the Cardinals scored three runs off of Broome, the Rapids brought in Ryan Jones to try and get out of the inning. With one out and the bases loaded, right fielder Christopher Gruarin sent a sacrifice fly to right field. Jones was able to able to get out of the inning without any more damage when he got left fielder Pat Talbut to ground out.

            The Rapids were able to extend their lead to 9-5 in the top of the sixth, but the Cardinals responded with two of their own in the bottom half of the inning.

            Jones was able to keep the Cardinals off of the scoreboard in both the seventh and eighth innings while the Rapids tacked on an insurance run in the top of the eighth off of reliever Ben McKinney.

            McCulloh came in the bottom of the ninth to earn his league leading sixth save of the season.

            Broome earned the win giving up five runs on ten hits in 4.1 innings. The Rapids enter the All-Star break with a 15-12 record. They play next on Monday when they host the New Market Rebels at 7:00 pm.

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Rapids lose at home

        The Haymarket Senators scored 2 in the second inning and never looked back Friday night, defeating the Rockbridge Rapids 5-2.

       Down 5-1 in the bottom of the ninth, the Rapids were able to string together three hits. Aided by an error by Senator second baseman Joe Woodward, the Rapids were able to load the bases with two outs. Second baseman Chandler Smetana hit a single through the left side to bring the score to 5-2.

      With the bases still loaded Senator pitcher Chris Acker was able to get designated hitter Cody Dolan to ground out to the shortstop to end the game.

        The Rockbridge Rapids fall to 14-12 on the season and remain in third place in the South Division. Tonight they travel to Front Royal for a 7 pm contest.

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Valley League All-Stars

          The Rockbridge Rapids will be sending four of their own to Front Royal next Monday for the Valley League All-Star game. The Valley League announced this morning that second baseman Chandler Smetana, outfielders Brandon Thigpen and Cody Dolan, and pitcher Kevin McCulloh all received the honor of being a Valley League All Star.


President Bill Luton (left), Head Coach Evan Wise (second from right), and General Manager Ken Newman (right) with Rapids’ All-Stars (from left to right) Brandon Thigpen, Cody Dolan, Chandler Smetana, and Kevin McCulloh.

          Smetana, from USC Sumter, has come through in the clutch for the Rapids so far this season. He leads the team in RBI with 17. He also leads the team with seven doubles.

           Thigpen has been consistently hot with the bat for a majority of the season. From Methodist, the outfielder has the second highest on base percentage in the league with .479. Additionally, Thigpen ranks tenth in the league in batting average with .362.

           Dolan is an outfielder from USC Sumter. He follows right behind Thigpen with the second highest batting average on the team, hitting .341. This is good for fourteenth in the league.

           McCulloh, a pitcher from Youngstown State, has become the Rapids’ go to guy at the end of games. He leads the league in saves with 5. Additionally, McCulloh leads the league in games completed with 9.

          The Valley League All-Star game is next Sunday at Front Royal. The game is scheduled to start at 7:30. Earlier in the day the All-Stars will be participating in a 60-yard dash timed by MLB scouts and a home run derby.