WEEK IN REVIEW: DEFENSIVE ISSUES PLAGUE GENERALS ATTEMPTED RISE
WEEK IN REVIEW: DEFENSIVE ISSUES PLAGUE GENERALS ATTEMPTED RISE
By Braden Ramsey
Waynesboro, Va. – Week three of the 2023 Valley Baseball League season saw the Waynesboro Generals put up the same number of victories as weeks one and two, but also fail to capitalize on a number of chances to add to the win column because of sloppy play in the field.
GAME TEN (6/13): HARRISONBURG – 10, WAYNESBORO – 9
Waynesboro watched the first three hitters of the Turk lineup cross the plate before getting an opportunity to bat, and trailed 4-2 through three innings. The Gens then struck back with three of their own in the bottom of the fourth – all on Sean Shelly’s two-out double – to take the lead.
Harrisonburg answered in quick fashion, scoring six runs in the top half of the two succeeding frames to build a 10-5 advantage. The Generals closed the gap by scoring four runs in the bottom of the ninth, but the Turks stranded the potential tying and winning runs with a strikeout to end the game.
Waynesboro only notched five hits in this one, but drew 15 walks, including six in the bottom of the ninth.
Key Pitching Performance: Jack Sullivan – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, HBP (ND)
Key Hitting Performance: Sean Shelly – 2/5, 2B, 4 RBI, BB, 3 K
Waynesboro Record (Streak): 4-6 (L2)
GAME ELEVEN (6/14): CHARLOTTESVILLE – 8, WAYNESBORO – 4
A rematch of the 2023 VBL opener, the Gens scored first on Luis Ramirez’s first-inning SAC Fly. But a two-run second and three-run third provided more than adequate support for a Charlottesville pitching staff that got 6.2 innings of scoreless ball out of its bullpen.
Key Pitching Performance: Edwin Melendez – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 0 K (ND)
Key Hitting Performance(s): Luis Ramirez – 2/2, R, 2 RBI, HBP; Jason Brown – 1/1, 3B, R, HBP
Waynesboro Record (Streak): 4-7 (L3)
GAME TWELVE (6/15): WAYNESBORO – 17, WOODSTOCK – 10
Benito Valle-Jhanda snagged his second consecutive victory in this Thursday evening clash, putting up five solid innings on the mound despite some less than stellar defensive help (more in INTERESTING TIDBITS).
Offensively, the Generals pushed across a trio of runs in the first and fifth innings. But their nine-run third where ten different players saw a plate appearance carried the day.
Key Pitching Performance: Benito Valle-Jhanda – 5.0 IP, 6 H, 7 R (4 ER), 3 BB, 6 K (W)
Key Hitting Performance(s): Anthony Lamar – 3/4, 2B, 4 R, 2 RBI, BB, K, HBP; Alexander McCoy – 2/4, 2B, 4 R, RBI, 2 BB, 3 SB; Julian Uejima – 3/4, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB, HBP
Waynesboro Record (Streak): 5-7 (W1)
GAME THIRTEEN (6/16): STAUNTON – 6, WAYNESBORO – 3
A four-run first for the rival Braves staked them to an advantage they wouldn’t relinquish. Staunton SP Ben Keefe got all the way to the eighth inning before being replaced by Joe Martino, who recorded the final six outs and his first save of the summer.
Waynesboro had the potential tying run reach third base on two occasions (innings five and eight) when it was a 4-3 ballgame, but couldn’t even the score either time.
Key Pitching Performance: Conor Hensley – 6.0 IP, 10 H, 4 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 3 K (L)
Key Hitting Performance: Alexander McCoy – 1/3, R, BB, K, 3 SB
Waynesboro Record (Streak): 5-8 (L1)
GAME FOURTEEN (6/17): WAYNESBORO – 11, PURCELLVILLE – 9
After letting one get away versus the Cannons ten days ago, the Generals were determined to prevent something similar from unfolding in their fourth home game of the week. Sean Shelly’s first home run of the year kickstarted a six-run fifth inning in which Anthony Lamar swatted a bases-clearing double to give Waynesboro a 10-4 edge.
Purcellville looked to make lighting strike twice after scoring five times across innings seven and eight, but Jaxson Lucas sat down the side on strikes in the ninth inning to secure the win.
Key Pitching Performance: Jaxson Lucas – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 3 K (SV)
Key Hitting Performance: Anthony Lamar – 2/4, 2B, 3 RBI, BB, K
Waynesboro Record (Streak): 6-8 (W1)
GAME FIFTEEN (6/18): COVINGTON – 9, WAYNESBORO – 5
The Generals dug an early hole during their first trip south, allowing the Lumberjacks to score in each of the first three innings and mount a 6-0 lead. A late rally was halted on an unconventional double play that saw two outs made at third base.
Key Pitching Performance: Evan Swift – 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 2 K (ND)
Key Hitting Performance: Jeremy Wagner – 2/3, 3 R, BB
Waynesboro Record (Streak): 6-9 (L1)
The Generals could very easily find themselves in the top half of the VBL standings if not for an abundance of self-inflicted wounds throughout this third week of action:
- Harrisonburg: Three errors, four unearned runs (lost by one)
- Charlottesville: Four errors, three unearned runs (lost by four)
- Woodstock: Five errors, three unearned runs (won by seven; Woodstock committed three errors and allowed six unearned runs)
- at Staunton: Two errors, three unearned runs (lost by three)
- Purcellville: Two errors, two unearned runs (won by two)
- at Covington: Three errors, five unearned runs (lost by four)
That’s 19 errors and 20 unearned runs yielded in the past six outings. Waynesboro committed a total of nine errors across its first nine games, allowing only four unearned runs in those contests.
These miscues will have to be rectified if the team wants to climb into a playoff spot (top eight).
WALK THIS WAY!
The Gens have ranked 1st or 2nd in on-base percentage (OBP) at the conclusion of both weeks one and two of the VBL season. This remains the case through week three; their .417 mark trails only Winchester (.425).
While a league-leading hit-by-pitch total (31) helps push the line higher, Waynesboro’s patience in the box is the biggest reason for the impressive number. That approach was never more prevalent than during the third week of action.
The Generals racked up 46 bases on balls last week, equaling the amount they tallied over the first nine contests. Their 92 walks for the season are tied for 3rd most in the VBL (Staunton). Purcellville has the second most (93), while New Market (114) paces the league.
Shenandoah Dermatology Pitcher of the Week: Jaxson Lucas – 1 APP. (0 S), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 SV; 0-0, 0.00 ERA, SV
Sabre Cats Bats Hitter of the Week: Anthony Lamar – 5 G (4 S), 7/18 (.467 AVG), 2 2B, 8 R, 5 RBI, 5 BB, 4 K, 2 HBP
Every team is still somewhat clustered through three weeks of play, but the distance between top and bottom is widening as the good try to separate from the bad.
Reigning champion Charlottesville* (9-5) is in the top spot on the back of a four-game win streak that began at Union Home Mortgage Park. Winchester and Strasburg have moved into a tie for second place (9-6) with Purcellville. The Royals and Express are there after winning six times apiece since June 11, while the Cannons lost five straight to begin the week.
Harrisonburg and Front Royal (8-7) are knotted together in fifth, while Woodstock and New Market (7-8) find themselves in eighth. Covington* (7-7) slots between the pairs at seventh.
Waynesboro is alone in tenth place with its 6-9 record. Staunton and Culpeper (5-10) sit in a tie for eleventh.
*Covington and Charlottesville have each only played 14 games because of a postponement (Friday, June 16) due to weather. Their makeup game (Monday, June 19) was also postponed due to incoming weather. A new makeup date has not yet been determined.
WEEK FOUR SCHEDULE
6/20: @ Winchester Royals
6/21: vs. New Market Rebels
6/22: @ Culpeper Cavaliers
6/23: vs. Front Royal Cardinals
6/24: vs. Harrisonburg Turks
6/25: VBL All-Star Game
6/26: Prospect Game
Make sure you support your Generals in both the All-Star Game and Prospect Game during the VBL All-Star Break next Sunday-Tuesday! Announcements on which players have earned All-Star and Prospect nods will be coming soon.
Speak Your MindTell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!