Stuarts Draft handles Clover Hill in title series
Diamondbacks trail Bucks, 2-1
By Al Samuels • Sports Writer • August 20, 2008
CLOVER HILL — The Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks exploded for eight runs in the third inning Tuesday night, and went on to down the Clover Hill Bucks 10-6 in Game 3 of the Rockingham County Baseball League championship series.
Draft now trails 2-1 in the best-of-7 series.
"When we hit the ball like that, it makes things a whole lot easier," Stuarts Draft manager Tinker Kiser said. "(Brandon) Zollman threw well, but he said his elbow was a little tender, so we got him out of there after seven. Wes Harlow came on in the ninth and threw strikes as he has done all year, and got us out of a jam. We are now only down 2-1 and they are coming to our place."
Clover Hill jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but it was short-lived.
In the second, Brian Sandridge opened with a single and went to second on a wild pitch. Milo Johnson delivered a run-scoring double and he later plated on Drew Dobbins' double-play grounder for a 2-1 advantage for the Diamondbacks.
Stuarts Draft put the game away with the eight-run third. Harlow stroked a two-run double and Dobbins added a three-run homer, his first of the season, to pace the inning.
Zollman settled down to hold the hard-hitting Bucks to just the single run in seven innings. He allowed four hits, while striking out seven and walking four.
Clover Hill made it interesting with a four-run eighth on four hits and an error off reliever Josh Elwood. Harlow gave up one run in the ninth before securing the victory.
Game 4 is 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Diamond Club in Stuarts Draft. Game 5 is scheduled at Clover Hill on Thursday.
STUARTS DRAFT 028 000 000 — 10 16 1
CLOVER HILL 100 000 041 — 6 9 0
Zollman, Elwood (8), Harlow (9) and Stevens. Hill, Rohrbaugh (3) and D.Bowman.
W — Zollman. L — Hill. HR — Dobbins (SD) 3rd, two on.
The News Virginian
By Dana Jones Correspondent
Published: August 17, 2008
STUARTS DRAFT – It was late scoring that took Clover Hill to a 9-4 win over Stuarts Draft on Sunday in the second game of the RCBL series.
Only three of the innings saw runners score for both teams and the fourth started it off.
Clover Hill’s Addison Bowman hit a blooper behind second base, with one out and one on Shane Banks stepped up to the plate. The first good pitch went flying over the center field fence and the Bucks were up 2-0.
“Shane’s been huge when he’s been here,” said Clover Hill manager Mike Martin. “We have good solid power down the line-up.”
The Diamondbacks hit single after single and with the bases loaded Randall Stevens tapped a slow roller down the third base line, starting up the domino effect of errors from the Bucks. A bad throw to first saw both Milo Johnson and Wes Harlow score, tying the game. A sacrifice fly from Drew Dobbins put another tally on the board. The errors weren’t done yet, however. Brandon Zollman slapped a hard grounder to second, out ran the throw, and an error from the first baseman saw Stevens score, the last D’back to score in the game.
“We had a defensive let down,” Martin said. “They were making plays early but John [Sinclair] kept his composure on the mound and we kept battling. The guys got it done with their bats later.”
Brooks Cullen started the seventh inning off right for the Bucks with a hard grounder between short and third. Dustin Bowman then answered the call with a homer over the right field fence, tying the game at 4, but Clover Hill wasn’t about to settle for a tie. A few singles and A. Bowman was back at the plate, driving in Chris Cofer off a shortstop error, and a broken bat.
The eighth inning played out exactly as the seventh, with most of the same players scoring, Cullen, D. Bowman, Grant French, and Cofer.
Sinclair did most of the pitching for the Bucks, with five strikeouts, three walks, and allowed 17 hits. Cullen then came in to close in the ninth, striking out two and allowing only one hit.
Ryan Cooper pitched six innings for the D’backs, striking out four and allowing 13. Seth Berry relieved Cooper mid-way into the seventh with three strikeouts, four walks, and five hits. Harlow closed in the ninth with two strikeouts and two walks.
The third game of the series will take place on Tuesday at Clover Hill.
“We just have to keep hammering and keep battling until the very last game,” Martin said. “We like the momentum. We like where we’re at.”
Late explosion sends Clover Hill past Diamondbacks
Clover Hill leads Draft 2-0 in RCBL title series
By Al Samuels • Sports Writer • August 18, 2008
STUARTS DRAFT — When the Rockingham County Baseball League championship series started, Stuarts Draft manager Tinker Kiser said his troops had to hit with the hard-hitting Clover Hill Bucks to win the title.
So far his prediction has come true as the Bucks pounded out 15 hits in a 9-4 win Sunday night to grab a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series.
The Bucks rallied from a 4-2 deficit with three runs in the seventh and four more in the eighth to pull out the win. Former Stuarts Draft Cougar Shane Banks had another home run, a two-run shot, and teammate Dustin Bowman also drilled a two-run homer that tied the score at 4-4 in the seventh.
"We don't panic when we get down," Banks said. "John (Sinclair) kept us in the game on the mound after that one bad inning and we had those big innings like we usually do."
"That's a tough lineup to hold down," Kiser said. "We tried to hit with them, but we just didn't get the clutch hits at the right time. But it's a seven-game series and anything can still happen."
Banks' two-run shot off Diamondback starter Ryan Cooper staked the Bucks to a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth.
In the bottom of the inning, the usually steady Buck fielding fell apart. Milo Johnson singled with one out and Wes Harlow reached on an error. After Lance Bragg walked to load the bases, Randall Stevens plated the first run with an infield single, and when the throw to first got away, Harlow raced home with the second run. After Drew Dobbins' sacrifice fly put Draft ahead 3-2, another throwing error on an infield single gave the Diamondbacks a 4-2 advantage.
Cooper ran into trouble in the seventh. Former Wilson Memorial star Brooks Cullen led off with a single and Bowman followed with a two-run shot to right that tied the score at 4-4. Two more singles, a walk and an error gave the Bucks one more run and a 5-4 lead .
The Bucks put the game away with four runs off reliever Seth Berry in the eighth. Chris Cofer had the big blow with a two-run single.
Brandon Zollman and Bragg led the Diamondbacks with three hits each.
The two teams square off in Game 3 at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Clover Hill.
CLOVER HILL 000 200 340 — 9 15 4
STUARTS DRAFT 000 400 000 — 4 13 1
Sinclair, Cullen (9) and French, D.Bowman (9). Cooper, Berry (7), Harlow (9) and Stevens.
W — Sinclair. L — Cooper. HR — Banks (CH) 4th, one on; D. Bowman (CH) 7th, one on.
The Staunton News Leader
August 12, 2008
Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks' Ryan Cooper delivers a pitch
against the Montezuma Braves on Monday at the Diamond
Club in Stuarts Draft.
(Amanda Bowles/The News Leader)
STUARTS DRAFT — Ryan Cooper made sure that Stuarts Draft's first-ever appearance in the Rockingham County Baseball League's playoff semifinals would be a successful one.
The Stuarts Draft High School and Ferrum College graduate went the distance on a 3-hitter Monday night, and the Diamondbacks walked away with a convincing 5-0 victory over Montezuma at the Diamond Club. The win gives Draft a 1-0 lead in the best-of-5 semifinals, with the second game tonight at Montezuma. "The key to it is to be loose and let the ball do its thing," said Cooper, a former Valley Baseball League all-star with Waynesboro. "I don't throw it hard enough to blow it by anybody. You've got to have confidence in your defense, and they did a great job." Cooper walked two, struck out seven and got error-free defense from his Stuarts Draft teammates. "He was lights out tonight," said Diamondback manager Tinker Kiser. "He changes speeds, he hits spots and keeps the ball down." Even though they did not get a big inning, the offense kept the pressure on Braves starter Justin Folks. The D'backs collected 12 hits and scored single runs in five different frames. Shortstop Milo Johnson provided all the offense Cooper would need in the second, sending a 1-2 pitch over the left-centerfield fence for a 1-0 advantage. In the third, Brandon Zollman lined a two-out single to right, stole second and scored on a Jason Butterworth base hit. Zollman led off the fifth with a double that was lost by the centerfielder in the lights. Two batters later, Ben Wise drove him home by bouncing a double over the third base bag to make it 3-zip. The same combination provided an insurance run in the seventh, as Zollman singled and later scored on another base knock from Wise. Drew Dobbins' single knocked in Lance Bragg with the final score in the eighth, as Draft completed the shutout in less than two hours. Zollman sparked the Diamondback attack with a 3-for-5 effort. Wise, Johnson and Bragg each had two hits in the win. Catcher Chris Martin led Montezuma with a pair of doubles. "If we keep getting good pitching, which we've had all year, and play solid defense behind them, we'll be in every game," said Kiser of his team's playoff prospects. "The bats will come and go, but if our pitching and defense can be consistant, I like our odds."
MONTEZUMA 000 000 000 — 0 3 2
STUARTS DRAFT 011 010 11x — 5 12 0
Folks and Martin. Cooper and Stevens.
W — Cooper. L — Folks. HR — Johnson (SD) 2nd, none on.
Staunton News Leader Monday 8/11/08
ELKTON — Stuarts Draft defeated the host Elkton Blue Sox 18-1 Friday night to give the Diamondbacks a sweep of their best-of-3 first-round series in the Rockingham County Baseball League playoffs.
Tim Brust pitched no-hit ball for the first seven innings before turning the game over to the bullpen. He had six strikeouts and allowed one walk in recording his eighth win of the season against one loss.
The Diamondbacks' 25-hit attack was led by Brandon Zollman's 5-for-7 night with two doubles and three RBIs. Jason Butterworth and Wes Harlow were 4-for-6 and Brian Sandridge went 3-for-4.
Stuarts Draft (27-4) opens semifinal round play at 7:30 p.m. tonight as they host Montezuma on the Diamond Club field in the first game of a best-of-3 series.
STUARTS DRAFT 315 700 110 — 18 25 1
ELKTON 000 000 010 — 1 2 4
Brust, Sandridge (8), Wise (9) and Harlow. Dean, Kuehle (4), Breeden (5) and (na).
W — Brust (8-1). L — Dean. HR — none.
Elkton’s Shane Racer tries to tag out the Diamondbacks’ Brian Sandridge during the first round of the RCBL playoffs Thursday in Stuarts Draft. The Diamondbacks won 13-3 to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
By Dana Jones Correspondent
Published: August 7, 2008
STUARTS DRAFT – After a rough first inning, the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks came back to defeat the Elkton Blue Sox 13-3 in Game 1 of the first round of the RCBL playoffs. The winvgave the D’backs a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
The Blue Sox got an early 1-0 lead in the first off of two Diamondback errors, but the D’backs wouldn’t be shut down that early.
“Elkton’s pitcher did a nice job,” said Stuarts Draft manager Tinker Kiser. “He got tired late. Good pitching does that to you.”
Draft’s pitcher, Drew Dobbins, came back in the second inning to redeem himself, striking out two and walking one.
It was the Diamondbacks’ Jason Butterworth however, who was the star of the show. Butterworth went 4-for-5 with a triple in the third and a RBI double in the sixth.
“Jason probably raised his average over 100 points this season,” Kiser said. “He’s matured since last year and has really helped us.”
Butterworth’s show-stopping performance didn’t end at the plate. His defense was just as good as his batting, with play after play at second base. In the top of the sixth, with one runner on first, a hard ground shot came at second and Butterworth made a sliding catch, a flip of the wrist and he was turned the double play.
“You can call it amazing,” one D’back said as Butterworth was being interviewed.
“I just read the ball and dove for it,” Butterworth said. “It was my reaction and it just landed in the glove.”
Butterworth may have stolen the show, but it was a team effort that took the Diamondbacks to victory.
Brandon Zollman hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh, taking the score to 10-3. Ryan Cooper and Wes Harlow were 4-for-5, followed by Ben wise who went 3-for-5. Seth Berry came in for Dobbins in the seventh, striking out one and allowing no hits. Randall Stevens came in the eighth, allowing one hit. Mike Moles was the final pitcher and closed out two.
“I feel a lot better about going in tomorrow with a win,” Kiser said. “I’d like to go down there and win one, just get it over with.”
The Diamondbacks will play Elkton tonight at 7:30 pm.
Staunton News Leader 8/8/08
Elkton's Justin Kuehle tries to reach first as Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks' Randall Stevens makes the catch Thursday during a Rockingham County Baseball League playoff game in Stuarts Draft. (Amanda Bowles/The News Leader)
STUARTS DRAFT — It took four seasons, but Stuarts Draft has finally tasted success in the Rockingham County Baseball League playoffs.
The Diamondbacks pounded out 18 hits Thursday night, and emerged with a long-awaited 13-3 victory over Elkton in the first game of the best-of-3 quarterfinal series. Game 2 will be tonight at Elkton.
"I was scared to death coming into tonight because we had never got one," said Stuarts Draft manager Tinker Kiser of the first playoff win in Diamondback history.
Early in the contest, it looked like history was going to repeat itself. The Blue Sox plated an unearned run in the first, while the Diamondbacks mustered only one hit through the first two innings.
With two outs in the third, Draft tied the contest after Jason Butterworth laced a triple into the right-centerfield gap, and then scored on a Ben Wise single to right.
A throwing error, an RBI groundout by Brandon Zollman and a wild pitch plated three more runs in the fourth, and the Diamondbacks had the lead for good.
Elkton would get one back in the fifth on a Justin Kuehle double to cut the deficit to 4-2.
But Draft would answer in its half of the inning on a run-scoring single by Lance Bragg.
A sacrifice fly from Shane Racer in the sixth brought the Blue Sox back to within 5-3, but that was as close as they would get.
Butterworth, Ryan Cooper and Brian Sandridge each had RBI hits in a three-run sixth. Zollman's two-run homer and Cooper's two-RBI single in the seventh busted things open. Wes Harlow tripled home the final run in the eighth to clinch the series-opening win.
Butterworth, Cooper and Harlow each had four hits to key the Stuarts Draft attack. Drew Dobbins went the first six innings on the mound to post the win.
"We've got a couple of guys that aren't hitting, and a couple of positions where we have injured players," said Kiser, whose team is now 26-4 on the year. "We need to get everybody healthy and get all the big guns going."
ELKTON 100 011 000 — 3 4 3
STUARTS DRAFT 001 313 41x — 13 18 2
Weiner, Kraun (7) and Kuehle. Dobbins, Berry (7), Stevens (8), Moles (9) and Dimitt.
W — Dobbins. L — Weiner. HR — Zollman (SD) 7th, one on.
Staunton News Leader 8/6/08
STUARTS DRAFT — The Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks topped Montezuma 5-4 Saturday to set up a one-game playoff with Clover Hill for the Rockingham County Baseball League regular season championship.
Both the Bucks and the Diamondbacks finished the regular season 25-3.
Stuarts Draft outhit Clover Hill 7-4, but fell 3-1 after committing three costly errors that led to two unearned runs.
The Diamondbacks scored their only run in the sixth inning after Brandon Zollman led off with a double to left center, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Jason Butterworth's RBI single.
Zollman picked up his firs loss of the season after allowing three hits in seven innings and striking out nine.
The Diamondbacks will host either Elkton or Broadway in the best-of-three first round of the RCBL playoffs at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at Stuarts Draft High School.
CLOVER HILL 002 000 100 — 3 4 0 STUARTS DRAFT 000 001 000 — 1 7 3
Sinclair and Bowman. Zollman, Berry (8) and Dimitt.
W —Sinclair. L —Zollman. HR —none.
Staunton News Leader 7/18/2008
D'backs now 20-2
The Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks ran their record to 20-2 in Rockbridge County Baseball League play with two victories this week.
On Monday, the D'backs won 4-2 at Montezuma. Ryan Cooper picked up his fourth win against the Braves, working eight innings and spreading six hits. Seth Berry picked up his second save after pitching the ninth.
Cooper also had a two-out, two-run single in the fifth, which proved to be the eventual game winner. Brandon Zollman had three hits and Trip Kiser two.
The D'backs picked up a 5-1 win at Shenandoah on Wednesday after Mike Moles gave up four hits and no runs in seven innings of work. Moles improved to 3-0, and Wes Harlow was 2-for-3 with three RBIs.
Draft plays at Elkton on Saturday before returning to the Diamond Club on Sunday to face Clover Hill.
By Corine Gatti from Waynesboro News Virginian
Published: July 16, 2008
STUARTS DRAFT — The Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks sit atop the Rockingham County Baseball League with the season winding down. They hold a tentative lead over Clover Hill, standing two games in front of the rival ball club.
With a slim margin over the second place club, Diamondbacks coach Tinker Kiser isn’t allowing anxiety get the best of him.
“I’m not going lose sleep over it,” Kiser said. “It’s something that you can’t worry about.”
The two powerhouse clubs will play again in the series finale this Sunday night at Draft. The Diamondbacks lead the series 2-1 against the defending champs.
Draft can add more insurance on the road Wednesday when it plays last-place Shenandoah and takes on sixth-ranked Elkton on Saturday night.
Draft (19-2) dismissed that playing the league’s weaker teams would soften their competitive edge.
“No, we are going to play against them like we play every game. We are not going to lose focus,” said Draft slugger Wes Dimmit. “We are planning to win every game until the end of the season. We didn’t come this far, to just give up.”
Kiser also disputed that suggestion.
“I don’t think that there is a misconception that we will start losing because we are ahead of any team,” Kiser said. “That could change, or it might not change. But we look at every game as a must win.”
The last time Draft was in position to win the league championship was in the 2006 season, but it lost to Broadway in the first round. Last season, the team fell below .500 and took a nosedive to fifth place in the standings.
The Diamondbacks are aching to be crowned champions for the first time in their four-year existence.
“These guys are so close to winning this that they can taste it,” Kiser said. “We are not going to take anything for granted, but we are absolutely staying awake during the last stretch.”
Kiser said that his team is not afraid of losing its footing in the standings, although Clover Hill (16-3) defeated the squad 6-3 at home last Tuesday night.
“They are the defending champs, but let the chips fall as they may. We are going to do what we have been doing,” Kiser said.
Diamondbacks post win - Staunton News Leader July 13, 2008
BROADWAY — The Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks improved their record to 18-2 in the Rockingham County Baseball League on Friday night, with a 6-1 win at Broadway behind the left arm of Virginia Military Institute redshirt freshman Tim Brust.
Brust pitched six innings, allowing no runs on one hit while striking out six and walking none to improve his record to 5-1.
The offense was lead by Ben Wise with two 2 doubles and two RBIs. Wes Harlow, Milo Johnson and Trip Kiser each had two hits.
Stuarts Draft is on the road again at 7:30 p.m. Monday against the third-place Montezuma Braves (14-4).
STUARTS DRAFT 000 113 010 — 6 11 2 BROADWAY 000 000 001 — 1 2 2
Brust, Berry (7), Ellwood (8), Zollman (9) and Kiser, Butterworth (8). Santos, Fulk (6) and J.Barnes.
W — Brust (5-1). L — Santos (na). HR — none.
From Staunton News Leader July 10, 2008
STUARTS DRAFT — The Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks' eight-game winning streak came to an end Tuesday night at the hands of the Clover Hill Bucks, 6-3, in Rockingham County Baseball League play.The Bucks opened fast with a run in the top of the first inning and two runs in the second on Dustin Bowman's home run.
Stuarts Draft countered with one run in the bottom of the second on a throwing error and one in the fourth on a Brian Sandridge solo shot to left field.
The Diamondbacks tied the game 3-3 in the fifth on a single to right that was misplayed by the right fielder, scoring Brandon Zollman, who had singled with two outs.
Clover Hill broke the game open on a three-run homer to right by Chris Cofer in the eighth.
The first-place Diamondbacks are now 17-2, while the Bucks improved to 15-3. Draft plays again Friday at Broadway in a 7:30 p.m. RCBL clash.
CLOVER HILL 120 000 030 — 6 10 4
STUARTS DRAFT 010 110 000 — 3 4 2
Lucas and D. Bowman. Moles, Ellwood (6), Cooper (8) and Kiser.
W — Lucas (4-0). L — Ellwood (0-1). HR —D.Bowman (CH) 2nd, one on; Sandridge (SD) 4th, none on; Cofer (CH) 8th, two on.
From Staunton News Leader July 8, 2008
Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks rolling
STUARTS DRAFT — The Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks are on quite a roll right now in the Rockingham County Baseball League, having won 17 of 18 games after Sunday's 3-2 win over the Elkton Blue Sox.
Elkton took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but the Diamondbacks struck back in the bottom half after leadoff hitter Jason Butterworth singled to center field. Ben Wise and Ryan Cooper followed with back-to-back jacks over the fence in left for a 3-1 lead, which proved to be enough for the win.
Left-hander Drew Dobbins went six innings for the win, and Seth Berry pitched the final three to pick up his first save of the season.
Butterworth, Cooper and Milo Johnson led the D'backs with two hits each.
Draft battles second-place Clover Hill tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Diamond Club Field.
ELKTON 100 100 000 — 2 6 0
STUARTS DRAFT 300 000 00x — 3 9 4
Arrington and Stokely. Dobbins, Berry (7) and Kiser.
W —Dobbins. L —Arrington. HR — Wise (SD) 1st, one on; Cooper (SD) 1st, none on.
By Dana Jones / Correspondent
Published: June 29, 2008
STUARTS DRAFT – It was a total team effort from Stuarts Draft in its 12-2 win over Broadway on Sunday, but Ryan Cooper was the standout player of the night.
The Diamondbacks first baseman, Cooper went 4-for-4 with three RBI and a triple; if that doesn’t make him a standout player, then nothing will. Not only does Cooper play first and hit, he can pitch and run the bases like a seasoned track star. To top it all off, he’s coach-able, not like he needs the coaching though.
“I’ve seen him play every position except for catch,” Stuarts Draft manager Tinker Kiser said of Cooper. “He’s really versatile and makes it to the stat sheet every game.”
Although Cooper made it to the bases at every bat, he never got the chance to touch home plate himself.
“I’m not usually a power hitter but I get my share of base hits,” Cooper said.
The D’backs scored in every inning with the exception of the third — an inning Cooper did not bat in — and every Diamondback that dug-in got to see the bases.
Though the Bruins only scored twice, they didn’t have a lack of hitting, just a lack of base runners.
“We got on them early,” Kiser said. “The Bruins are down a little bit in the league but they’ll build and come back better.”
The D’backs’ Jason Butterworth and Ben Wise each had two RBI, Lance Bragg had one and Wes Harlow had four. Harlow went 2-for-4, both of which were doubles.
Stuarts Draft’s Tim Brust pitched the first five innings, striking out two, walking one and allowing six hits. Josh Ellwood then came in as relief with four strikeouts, two walks, and no hits.
“Josh has got a world of talent,” Kiser said. “The catchers hate him though. They love his results, but not the physical injuries his pitches cause them.”
Draft (15-1) travels to New Market (6-7) on Wednesday while Broadway (5-11) faces Montezuma (10-3) on the same night.
By Dana Jones / Correspondent
Published: June 26, 2008
STUARTS DRAFT – Speed around the bases and relief pitching were the kickers for Stuarts Draft in its comeback 5-2 win over New Market on Wednesday.
The bats didn’t get going until the fourth inning when the Shockers’ Zachary Stiles led off with a single between first and second base. Jason Lumbard then followed with a rip to center field and a sacrifice bunt from Joshua Veney moved the runners into scoring position. The Diamondbacks’ pitcher Michael Moles then walked Jeremy Hafer and loaded the bases. Kevin Rush then dug in and sent one to the center field fence, driving in Stiles and Lumbard and leaving the D’backs jaw dropped.
“Rush didn’t deliver earlier in the season but now he’s starting to hit the ball,” said New Market manager Smokey Veney. “Last week he had a homerun on a double against them.”
Stuarts Draft didn’t answer back until the bottom of the fifth when Trip Kiser ran out a grounder to third. That’s when the lightning came, as in Rajah Jenkins. With Milo Johnson at the plate and the first pitch thrown, Jenkins was already at second before the Shockers’ catcher could wrap his mind around what had just happened. Johnson moved Jenkins to third on a groundout to second and Lance Bragg’s sacrifice fly to center put Jenkins at home.
“Draft got a hit when they needed it and Jenkins ignited them,” said Smokey Veney. “He really got them going.”
The top of the sixth saw a pitching change for the D’backs when Seth Berry was sent to the mound. Berry struck out two, walked one, and allowed two hits within the sixth and seventh innings.
With the D’backs down by one in the bottom of the seventh Wes Dimmit ripped one to left field and again they called in Jenkins who stole again on the first pitch. Kiser then moved Jenkins into position off a groundout to second. After Johnson was hit by a pitch and Bragg flew out to third, Travis Weaver, pinch hitting for Wes Harlow, stepped up to the plate. A hard shot to right ran in Jenkins and moved Johnson to third. Little man Jason Butterworth, standing at only 5 foot 5 inches, followed in Weaver’s footsteps and sent another one to left field, running in Johnson and Weaver.
“We hit the ball pretty well and finally got some pressure on,” said Draft manager Tinker Kiser. “Rajah came in and got those first two runs. It was more than a nine guy effort.”
The final run came from a Kiser RBI in the eighth. The D’backs’ Ryan Cooper shut down the Shocker bats with four strikeouts and only one allowed hit.
By Bill Meade Correspondent
Published: June 11, 2008
STUARTS DRAFT — For five innings, it looked as if the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks might lose their first game of the season.
But then a Goodyear had a good night.
Stuarts Draft’s Zack Goodyear, who got the D’backs on the scoreboard with a solo homer in the fourth to cut the New Market Shockers lead to 3-1, blasted his second long tater of the game in the bottom of the sixth to ignite the Stuarts Draft offense to a 9-3 win over the Shockers at the Diamond Club.
“I’ve never hit two home runs in a game,” said Goodyear, who played high school ball at Hargrave Military and plans to play at Tennessee Wesleyan next spring.
New Market’s Kevin Rush began the long ball party with a solo shot in the first inning.
The Shockers then went up 3-0 in the top of the fourth off of D’backs starter Brandon Zollman.
Rush walked and back-to-back doubles by Tyler Sherman and Nathan Batman gave the Shockers their three-run cushion.
Wilson Memorial grad Randall Stevens singled ahead of Goodyear’s second homer in the sixth.
But Stuarts Draft was just warming to the cause.
Western Albemarle product Jason Butterworth slammed a long double and with two outs former R.E. Lee slugger Ben Wise went deep, giving the D-backs the runs needed to take control of the game.
From there, Stuarts Draft grad Ryan Cooper came on in relief of Zollman to silence the Shockers, while former Wilson star Seth Berry mopped up on the mound for the D-backs in the ninth.
“We’re twice as deep in pitching and we have depth at every position,” Cooper said.
Stuarts Draft added a pair of runs in both the seventh and eighth innings.
In the seventh, Stevens and Butterworth each reached on walks before Zollman drove them both in with a long drive to the wall.
In the eighth, the Draft scored courtesy of five Shocker walks and an error.
With the win, the D’backs improved to 9-0 in the RCBL and face the Shockers again Monday night in New Market, before hosting Montezuma at the Diamond Club on Tuesday.
“We have good pitching and we can hit up and down the lineup,” said D’backs manager Tinker Kiser.
Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks ready for start of '08 season
By Shaun T. Cox/staff • firstname.lastname@example.org • May 13, 2008
Can't get enough local baseball? The Rockingham County Baseball League opens its season on Saturday, with the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks representing Augusta County. The Diamondbacks' roster boasts several current and former area high school ballplayers taking the field for Draft in Saturday's season opener against the Bridgewater Reds at 7 p.m. at the Diamond Club.
Draft has 12 returning players in addition to seven newcomers, and is looking to rebound from a sub-.500 season which saw the team swept out of the first round of the RCBL playoffs.
The Diamondbacks return all three of their main starters from last season, but it's still up in the air as to where each will pitch in the rotation, and who the relievers will be on what team owner and manager Tinker Kiser said is the strongest staff the team's had in its four years of existence.
"We have a lot of pitching, and we've picked up some new players, so I'm going to let them get out on the hill and compete," Kiser said. "We have our three main starters from last year, Seth Berry, Randall Stevens and Brandon Zollman. And we have Michale Moles, who was a spot starter last year."
Kiser listed nine pitchers in all, and said some of them likely won't even see the mound.
"We really have a lot of talent on the pitching staff," he said, "and some guys I might not even use because they can play other positions in the field as well."
Kiser said he also has a strong defense to back up the deep pitching staff.
"We're looking pretty good defensively," he said, "and we're solid up the middle."
Kiser said the Diamondbacks will look to play small ball in the wooden bat league, and try to take advantage of the team's speed.
"Zollman has a lot of speed and he's been our leadoff hitter the last couple of years," Kiser said. "He's probably a .330 average hitter, and he knows how to get on base and how to steal bases. And (Wes) Dimitt swings a big bat. (Ryan) Cooper is a .300-plus hitter in the league since he's been in it for four years, and he hits with some power.
"If we could hit for power we would, but we'll be using our speed to get runners in scoring position, and get any kind of a hit to get them home," he continued. "Dimitt will give us some added power ... and he had a successful year at Bluefield College."
The Diamondbacks also have one of the fastest athletes in the area in Robert E. Lee track standout Rajah Jenkins.
"Rajah gets on base a lot and steals a lot of bases," Kiser said. "He had a good year for us last year. We didn't think we'd use him as much as we did, but he played every game he showed up at and he did a good job for us."
Stuarts Draft seniors Cameron Cook and Zachary Marion — who both signed with Bluefield College recently — are on the team this year, as well as Draft grads Cooper and Dimitt. Wilson Memorial grads Randall Stevens and Ryan McClamroch give the roster two other players with Augusta County ties.
Kiser said the team's biggest need is depth on the bench.
"That's probably or biggest weakness, but if the guys that are playing show up every week, we'll have a strong team," he said. "Our depth is probably not as good as it should be."
Overall, Kiser expects big things this year.
"Pitching is definitely going to be our biggest strength," he said. "We'll be solid defensively, and we'll probably have as good a hitting team as we've ever had. We could use a little bit more power, but we have decent power. With the wood bat league, even the best teams only hit 12 or 15 home runs. I feel like we have a chance at making a bid for the title."