2011 Season
Draft Diamond Club seeks grant for ballfield improvement
News Leader Staff Report
STUARTS DRAFT — The Draft Diamond Club is asking for $71,650 to install bleacher seating and build additional handicap parking at the Firehouse Ballfield, the home field of the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks in the Rockingham County Baseball League.

The club is asking the Augusta County Board of Supervisors to fund the project using one of the County's recreation accounts.

The baseball field is located behind the Stuarts Draft Fire Department and currently includes restrooms, a concession stand and two dugouts, but lacks an area for spectators to sit.

The grant proposal stated that the project would be completed in two years from the date of approval by the Board of Supervisors, who will hear it at a staff briefing tonight and will most likely take action at its regular meeting Wednesday night.

Clover Hill wins another RCBL title
By: Sam Parker/For The News Virginian
Published: August 20, 2011

STUARTS DRAFT – Clover Hill’s JR Rohrbough slammed a home run and robbed a Stuarts Draft bomb Friday night to lead his team to a Rockingham County Baseball League Championship Series title in Game 6.

The 6-3 win adds to the Bucks’ 15 titles, seven of which were earned in the last eight seasons.

Rohrbough went 3-for-4 with two RBI, two singles and a solo shot to serve as Clover Hill’s biggest contributor in the box.

With his run-scoring single in the first, the Bucks entered the game early. Then in the second, Shane Banks and Hunter Wyant both drove in runs to deepen the Bucks’ lead 3-0.

A Donovan Huffer cleared the fence in the third, but Rohrbough made a leaping catch, stealing the runs and ending the inning. Two runs came in for Draft in the fourth as Ryan Cooper singled to score Jay Thompson and Brooks Cullen walked home off loaded bases.

A Diamondback error in the fifth allowed two Clover Hill runs to come in, but Draft’s Thompson battled back to score Donovan Huffer in the bottom of the inning to lessen the damage 5-3.

Rohrbough’s solo homerun in the sixth added the Bucks’ last run of the night, and with the help of Clover Hill closer James Weiner, the team was able to shutdown Draft to secure the win.

RCBL finals tilt back in Bucks' favor
By: Sam Parker | For The News Virginian
Published: August 18, 2011

Clover Hill’s Shane Banks exploded in the batter’s box Wednesday night against Stuarts Draft, contributing five RBI to lead his team to an 8-3 win in Game 5 of the Rockingham County Baseball Leagues finals.

The win gives the Bucks a 3-2 advantage in the best-of-seven series.

Banks started off the night with a run-scoring single in the first. Then, in the third, he singled again to score Tyler Bocock and Drew Easter. He finished off the performance with a two-run bomb in the fifth, bringing his team to a 6-2 lead.

In the seventh, Addison Bowman singled to score Easter, and Hunter Wyant added a single to drive in Bowman.

The Diamondbacks attempted to fight back in the beginning of the game as two runs came in with Gage Staton’s solo shot and Brooks Cullen’s sacrifice fly.

Then, in the ninth, Brandon Clark slammed a solo homer to lessen the deficit to five, but Clover Hill starter James Lucas shut down the D’backs’ bats to secure the win. He struck out five and walked none through a complete game.

Draft will fight to survive in Game 6 at home Friday.

Not 1, not 2 but 3 home runs in a game by Donovan Huffer
August 16, 2011
The Diamondbacks defeated the Clover Hill Bucks 7 - 1 to tie the series at two games each

Bucks take 2-0 lead in RCBL championship series
By: Sam Parker/For The News Virginian
Published: August 11, 2011
STUARTS DRAFT – A slow beginning for Stuarts Draft left the Diamondbacks trailing early in Wednesday night’s matchup against Clover Hill. After battling back slowly, Draft failed to take the lead and suffered a 15-11 loss in Game 2 of the Rockingham County Baseball League Championship series.

The Diamondbacks trail in the series 2-0.

Draft starter Seth Berry got off to a rough start, giving up four walks and a two-run RBI double to Grant French, bringing four Clover Hill players home in the first.

“[Seth] was a little wild,” Draft manager Tinker Kiser said. “And the umpire has been noted to have a small strike zone – he didn’t disappoint us with that tonight. He kept his reputation intact.”

Playing catch up in the second, the Diamondbacks’ Donovan Huffer slammed a three-run homer and Lance Bragg scored on a Clover Hill overthrow to tie the game 4-4.

Shane Banks crushed a solo shot in the third to reclaim the lead for the Bucks. A rally in the fourth brought seven more in. Starting off the streak, a Diamondbacks’ error allowed Tyler Bocock to touch home. Next, Addison Bowman’s three-run homer and Banks’ follow-up solo home run added four. JR Rohrbough and Tyler Bocock ended the inning with two run-scoring singles to give the Bucks a 12-4 lead.

Draft attempted to rally back for the remainder of the night, earning four runs off of four hits in the fourth. Huffer and Brooks Cullen both singled to score Bragg and Mickie Holbert respectively, while Wes Dimitt added a two-run RBI double.

Then in the fifth, TJ Frazier came in off of a Clover Hill error and in the sixth, Frazier’s two-run double scored Dimitt and Brandon Clark to limit the damage 12-11.

But the Bucks didn’t leave any room for doubt as they added three more in the top of the seventh with Banks’ run-scoring double, a walked-in run and a Diamondbacks’ error.

“We felt like we could chip away at [Clover Hill] and get back in the ballgame,” Kiser said. “We reached 12-11, and then we had one bad inning. When it’s a one-run game, you can bunt, you can try to move a runner around – there’s a lot you can do. But when you’re down by four, you’re back to station-to-station baseball and we just didn’t have enough hitting to do that tonight.”

Clover Hill’s Justin Hill and James Weiner closed out the night for the Bucks, combining to only give up two hits in the last three innings while striking out one apiece.

The Diamondbacks travel to Buck Bowman stadium again on Friday for Game 3 of the series.

Clover Hill gets by Stuarts Draft, 2-1
By: Sam Parker | For The News Virginian
Published: August 10, 2011

An aggressive defensive game for both Stuarts Draft and Clover Hill ended in a nail-biting 2-1 Bucks’ win Tuesday night in the first game of the Rockingham County Baseball League finals.

Clover Hill starting pitcher James Lucas managed to hold down an early lead by striking out nine through 8⅓ innings.

Before leaving the hill in favor of reliever James Weiner, Lucas limited Draft to only seven hits.

“James has been a great pitcher,” Stuarts Draft manager Tinker Kiser said. “We’ve had trouble solving his mystery for three or four years now. And we didn’t come any closer it seemed like tonight.”

Clover Hill secured a quick lead in the third by putting two runs on the board with Christian Simmers’ RBI sacrifice fly and Shane Banks’ run-scoring single.

The Diamondbacks then broke up Lucas’ shutout bid in the fourth as Jay Thompson singled to score Brooks Cullen.

Stuarts Draft starter Drew Dobbins prevented any further damage, throwing a complete game. He gave up six hits while striking out three and walking one.

“[Drew] threw awesome from the opening inning all the way through the very end,” Kiser said. “He did a great job, and I couldn’t have asked for more.”

But Stuarts Draft’s hitters couldn’t bring him the win. Weiner struck out five while giving up one hit to leave two ’Backs on base and end the game.

The Diamondbacks play at home tonight in Game 2 of the best-of-seven series.

“If we can hold [Clover Hill] to two runs tomorrow night, I like our chances,” Kiser said Tuesday.

D'backs advance to championship series
Will face Clover Hill for 4th straight year
By: Sam Parker/For The News Virginian
Published: August 07, 2011

STUARTS DRAFT — Stuarts Draft’s Jay Thompson and Ryan Cooper contributed two home runs each to lead the Diamondbacks to a 10-0 shutout Sunday night against the Bridgewater Reds in Game 5 of the RCBL semifinals.

The win sent the Diamondbacks back to the championship series where they will face Clover Hill for yet another year. The RCBL Championship Series begins Tuesday at Clover Hill. The Bucks have beaten Draft the past three seasons in the finals and have won the seven of the last eight championships

The Diamondbacks and Bucks tied in the regular season standings, but Clover Hill won a one-game playoff for its sixth straight pennant and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

“We’re not going to do anything different [at Clover Hill],” Draft manager Tinker Kiser said. “The guys just want to go play and have fun, so we’ll see who comes out on top.”

Thompson and Cooper combined for nine RBI. Thompson brought runs with a solo shot in the second and a three-run blast in the fifth. Cooper earned five RBI with a three-run homer in the third and two-run shot in the eighth.

“With having two home runs each to give us nine RBI, I think they’re performances speak for themselves,” Draft manager Tinker Kiser said. “They both had a great night.”

Stuarts Draft’s remaining run came in the fourth as Brooks Cullen scored off of a Bridgewater error.

The Diamondbacks’ pitching, consisting of Cullen, TJ Frazier, Seth Berry and Donovan Huffer, managed to keep the Reds off-balance all night as they combined to strike out seven while only giving up three hits.

“Brooks did great,” Kiser said. “After throwing about 150 pitches, he was on two days rest, which wasn’t my idea, but he was practically begging for the ball. And then the other three came in to finish the shutout.”

Cullen's blast saves Draft
By: Sam Parker/For The News Virginian
Published: August 02, 2011

STUARTS DRAFT – Stuarts Draft’s Brooks Cullen did impossible Monday night.

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth and only one out, Cullen crushed a walk-off grand slam to drive in four runs and steal a 6-3 win for the Diamondbacks after they trailed for the majority of the night.

“When we got into the ninth, I was just hoping I would get to hit because I knew that would mean we were still in the equation,” Cullen said. “And with one out and the bases loaded, I knew we had a good chance. I knew he was going to try to get on top early, but luckily he left one up a little bit, and it ended pretty well.”

Bridgewater starter Josh McDevitt threw seven and two-thirds innings for the Reds to stump the Diamondbacks. During his performance, he gave up only one run while striking out five to put Bridgewater ahead.

“We couldn’t figure Josh out – he threw a great game,” Cullen said. “He was just kind of a mystery to us. He was effectively wild, I guess you could say. We couldn’t get anything started against him. We hit the ball hard in the beginning of the game, but we couldn’t catch a break.”

Draft’s Ryan Cooper contributed the team’s first run-scoring hit of the game in the fifth to score Corbin Lucas and put the Diamondbacks on the board 1-0.

A successful sixth inning for the Reds brought three home as Adam Rhodes and Daniel Heatwole each hit RBI singles while Scott Hearn scored off of a Draft error. Bridgewater was able to maintain its 3-1 lead throughout the last third of the game behind McDevitt’s leadership to secure the win.

A pitching change for the Reds brought Adam Lindberg to the hill in the bottom of the eighth, and in his first faceoff against Brandon Clark, Clark slammed an RBI single to score Brooks Cullen and lessen the deficit to one.

Bridgewater’s Scott Hearn then came to the mound to close out the night, but after walking two and giving up a single, the bases were loaded as Cullen came to the plate to win the game.

“It was big to get this game,” Cullen said. “It was a little nerve-racking when it came down to the very end, but luckily we pulled it off.”

With the win, Draft has the 1-0 advantage and will travel to Bridgewater tonight to play Game 2 of the best-of-five series.

D'backs take series in two games
By: News Virginian Staff
Published: July 29, 2011

In New Market, the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks advanced to the second round of the RCBL playoffs, knocking off New Market 10-1.

Draft swept the best-of-three series, cruising to victory a night after the Shockers almost gave the D’backs the slip. Draft won Thursday night 3-2 in the first game, coming back for the win.

Brooks Cullen set the tone in the third inning, crushing a three-run homer. Cullen would finish the night going 3-for-4 with three RBI.

Wes Dimitt also put together three hits, going 3-for-5 from the plate while scoring a run. Mickie Holbert was 2-for-5 with an RBI.

Draft put together 14 hits to pick up the win.

Drew Dobbins got the playoff win on the mound, pitching six innings while giving up five of New Market’s eight hits. Dobbins surrendered one run, struck out three and walked three.

D'backs take one game lead over New Market
By: WHITTNEY COFFEY/For the News Virginian
Published: July 29, 2011

STUARTS DRAFT— The Stuarts Draft Diamondback took their first step Thursday toward another appearance in RCBL championship series.

Draft rallied back in the first game of the opening round against New Market, taking a 3-2 win. The Diamondbacks lead the best-of-three series 1-0.

Donovan Huffer’s two-out double in the eighth inning plated Jay Thompson giving the Diamondbacks a 3-2 lead. Moments later, Huffer would help secure the win as he recorded the final two outs to preserve the win for Brooks Cullen.

Cullen was dominant on the night, pitching 8 1/3 innings while giving up only five hits and striking out thirteen.

Despite Cullen’s work, New Market appeared ready to take Game 1.    

Zach Stiles’ solo homer in the second gave the Shockers a 1-0 lead and, in the third, New Market added another run on an RBI-groundout by Seth Conley.

That looked like more than enough support for New Market starter Jake Cook who no-hit the Diamondbacks through the first five innings.

In the sixth however, the Diamondbacks scratched out two runs, tying the game at two. Travis Weaver singled, stole second and third and then scored on a safety squeeze by Cullen. Two batters later, Ryan Cooper hit a sac-fly to right scoring Cullen.

The run support seemed to ignite Cullen, who struck out four in a row over the seventh and eighth innings, before giving way to Huffer in the ninth.

Game 2 is tonight in New Market.

Clover Hill wins sixth straight RCBL pennant
By: Sam Parker/For The News Virginian
Published: July 27, 2011

CLOVER HILL – Nothing was going to stop Cory Armentrout on Tuesday night.

The Clover Hill starter shutout the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks through six and two-thirds innings, striking out 10 while only giving up three hits. Behind his leadership, the Bucks earned the Rockingham County Baseball League pennant with a 6-1 win.

The pennant is Clover Hill’s sixth-in-a-row. With the win, the team earns a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

“We would have loved to have had the pennant,” Stuarts Draft manager Tinker Kiser said. “This is our seventh year in trying to win a championship of some kind, but the good news is there’s another one coming up, so we’re going to start all over and try again. Our first new goal is to win Thursday night.”

The Bucks rallied with two outs in the third inning to earn three runs off of four hits. Adding the first to the book, Shane Banks contributed a run-scoring single while Christian Simmers followed with a two-run RBI double.

Another run came for Clover Hill in the sixth as a Draft fielding error allowed Christian Simmers to touch home. Diamondbacks pitcher Seth Berry then gave up a two-run RBI single to Drew Easter that drove in James Lucas and Grant French.

Clover Hill capitalized on the strong arms of both Armentrout and James Weiner for the remainder of the night as the duo eliminated all chances of the Diamondbacks battling back. Weiner threw three and one-third innings for the Bucks, giving up only one run.

“We didn’t hit very much at all,” Kiser said. “[Clover Hill’s] pitching was tremendous tonight, and we didn’t have an answer for it.”

Draft’s Brooks Cullen eliminated the team’s goose egg by driving in Travis Weaver in the eighth with a single. Cullen had two of the Diamondbacks’ six hits, serving as the team’s biggest offensive contributor.

The Diamondbacks will face New Market on Thursday at home in the first round of the playoffs.

D'backs fall one game short of pennant
By: Jeanne Spath/For The News Virginian
Published: July 20, 2011

STUARTS DRAFT – Tension mounted for the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks on Wednesday with the Rockingham County Baseball League pennant hanging in the balance.

The RCBL regular season title will yet again go down to the final game as the Diamondbacks fell 7-4 to Bridgewater. Draft will have to beat rival Clover Hill on Friday at Buck Bowman Park.

“We could see the finish line,” Diamondback Manager Tinker Kiser said. “It will be fun going in there (Clover Hill) and playing for it (the pennant).”

“We were all hyped up, this being our first and all,” Diamondback shortstop Jay Thompson said. “We just wanted this to be our night. Now we will have to do it at Clover Hill on Friday.”

The Diamondbacks got a glimmer of hope in the top of the seventh with bases loaded but Bridgewater’s Bay Liskey made the play in right field that got the Reds out of the inning.

Brooks Cullen struck out 11 at the plate, giving up only two walks on the night and three hits on the mound for Stuarts Draft.

“Brooks threw a great game. He had pitched around 130 pitches when they hit that home run and we just couldn’t hold them after that,” Kiser said.

Nick Corbin claimed the win on the mound for the Reds, giving up seven hits, three walks and striking out two Diamondbacks before retiring in the top of the eighth.

“That’s a tribute to the kid on the mound (Corbin),” Kiser said, “We just couldn’t hit him. Both pitchers did a great job. Bridgewater is a solid defensive team and they have great bats. Don’t count them out, it could be a three-way tie for first.”

In the top of the eighth, a pair of Diamondback errors put the Reds in scoring position, but a save by Cullen to peg the lead-off runner kept Bridgewater from scoring.

Then Scott Hearn came up to bat for the Reds, nailing a home run over the 330-foot fence, bringing Kevin Bocock and Adam Rhodes across the plate for a 3-0 lead and a pitching change for the Diamondbacks with Seth Berry coming in for the close.

Josh Wright hit a single for the Reds to keep the streak going, advancing on a steal and wild pitch, increasing the lead 4-0.

The Diamondbacks responded with a single by Corbin Lucas, followed by a pair of stand-up doubles by Travis Weaver and Thompson. Thompson brought both Lucas and Weaver in to score. Thompson scored on a single by Cooper.

“I was feeling good tonight and hit the ball hard. I knew one had to drop in there. That gave us some momentum,” Thompson said.

Brandon Clark nailed a home run to end the ballgame 7-4 for the Diamondbacks.

D'backs fight back

STUARTS DRAFT – The Diamondbacks were leading 3-0 in the bottom of the sixth when Clover Hill clawed its way back into the game.

The Bucks’ Shane banks hit a three-run home run to knot the score. Draft shook off the sudden comeback in the seventh with Ryan Cooper hitting an inside-the-park home run to score three, doubling Draft’s lead. The D’backs would hang on for the 6-3 win, moving into  first place in the RCBL.

Stuarts Draft took a half game lead in the RCBL. Both the Bucks and Diamondbacks have 11 wins.

“This was a big game for us. Any way you can get a win against those guys is a good win. They make you beat them,” Stuarts Draft Diamondback Manager Tinker Kiser said.

Cooper put the Diamondbacks on the board in the second with a home run over the center-field fence for a 1-0 lead.

“I’m glad he (Cooper) was on our team tonight,” Kiser said.

“I found myself down two strikes and I knew I had to do something so I just hit it. I was up there not thinking, I just tried to get it out there,” Cooper said.

Errors plagued the Bucks in the third, putting Brooks Cullen on base. Cullen would score the unearned run to put Draft up 2-0.

After hitting a single, Terrell Thompson scored on a fielder’s choice by Cooper for the 3-0 lead in the fifth.

Jeremy Fitzgerald claimed the win on the mound for the Diamondbacks, striking out four Bucks batters and gave up two hits on the night while James Wiener took the loss for Clover Hill.

“It feels good being tied for first right now, but it’s not enough yet. As we have seen, everybody is capable of beating us this season so we can’t relax. Hopefully this put a spark in all of these guys,” Cooper said.

“We have played six games in eight days and I really needed to get my pitchers in. We just needed to play ball. I think we are in full stride now,” Kiser said.

RCBL: Diamondbacks move into first place
11:18 PM, Jul. 3, 2011  | 

STUARTS DRAFT — Stuarts Draft took over first place in the Rockingham County Baseball League on Sunday night as the Diamondbacks stopped the Clover Hill Bucks 6-3.

The victory improved the Diamondbacks to 11-5, while the Bucks fell into second place one-half game behind at 11-6.

Ryan Cooper powered the victory by hitting a pair of home runs, the last an inside-the-park job, and driving in five runs.
Brooks Cullen had three hits and also picked up the victory by pitching the final three innings.
For Clover Hill, Shane Banks had a three-run homer in the sixth inning that tied the game at 3-3. Banks also was the losing pitcher as he threw the last two innings.

Thompson moves
Draft closer to first
In Broadway, Stuarts Draft's Terrell Thompson put the Diamondbacks within striking distance of first place in the RCBL with one swing Thursday night.
Trailing in the ninth to Broadway, Thompson hit a two-run triple to clear the bases and then scored on an error to put Draft ahead
6-5. Donovan Huffer came in and pitched the bottom of the inning for the save, striking out two,
Draft played again Friday, traveling to Elkton, but results were not available at presstime. The Diamondbacks
return home Sunday hosting Clover Hill for the second time this week.

D'backs thump Clover Hill
By Robert Sisk
Published: June 30, 2011

STUARTS DRAFT – In his second start of the year, Stuarts Draft’s Ryan Cooper was golden.
Playing their biggest rival, Clover Hill, the Diamondbacks played near flawless ball, keeping the Bucks off the scoreboard to earn a pivotal 10-0, eight-inning shutout win.
Cooper pitched solidly for seven innings, allowing just two hits while walking two. Cooper struck out three for the win.
“It’s the same strategy I use every game,” Cooper said. “I don’t throw hard, so I throw it up there like a Frisbee and hope it does something. They hit into a ground ball and we can make a play on it.”
Cooper also drove in the final two runs in the eighth to allow Draft to walk off the diamond with the mercy-rule shortened win.
One contest past the halfway mark, the Diamondbacks now trail the Bucks by one game in the standings Both teams have five losses. This season has been one of the most competitive years in recent RCBL history as all seven teams are separated by only three-and-a-half games.
“The parity is nice and the competition is good for the league,” Cooper said. “ I’m not going to lie though, I like when we can leave early.”
Clover Hill committed four errors in the loss, all of which resulted in runs.
Travis Weaver led off the game with a single and scored when Brooks Cullen reached on an infield error. Jay Thompson also tried to score on the play, but was thrown out at home.
Draft did the real damage in the fourth scoring three runs off of a hit and an error. Brooks Cullen led off with a single. Ryan Cooper hit an infield grounder, but the Bucks committed their second error of the game going for a double play allowing Cullen to score from first.
Donovan Huffer also scored in the inning on a Zach Goodyear single.
Draft will be back in action tonight, traveling to Broadway for a makeup game. I love the parity and the amount of competition but a couple of times, I like when we get to leave early.

Diamondbacks on RCBL East All Star Team
Starting Line Up
1B – Ryan Cooper
SS – Donovan Huffer
3B – Jay Thompson
OF – Brooks Cullen
P - Jeremy Fitzgerald
Remaining Roster
P – Mike Holbert
P – Tim Brust
P – Drew Dobbins
2B - Travis Weaver
OF - Brandon Clark

Diamondbacks blank Elkton
Staff Report
Stuarts Draft’s Jeremy Fitzgerald and Ryan Cooper combined for a two-hitter Friday night as the Diamondbacks blanked the Elkton Blue Sox 4-0 in Rockingham County Baseball League play.

Fitzgerald pitched eight innings for the victory, allowing the two hits, while striking out six and walking one. Cooper pitched the ninth, striking out a pair.

Brandon Clark led the offense with three hits, including two doubles, and one RBI. Brooks Cullen had a triple among his two hits and added two RBIs.

RCBL: Fitzgerald throws one hitter, leads D'back win
By Jeanne Spath/For The News Virginian
Published: June 25, 2011
STUARTS DRAFT – The Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks took over second place in the Rockingham County Baseball League Friday, downing the Elkton Blue Sox 4-1.

The teams were tied for second place going into the game but the Diamondbacks were the team with the bats swinging and Stuarts Draft pitcher Jeremy Fitzgerald gave up one hit on the night and struck out five at the plate.

“I felt real comfortable tonight. My changeup was better than it’s ever been,” Fitzgerald said. “Gage [Staton] caught real well. He’s the only two wins I’ve got – call it good chemistry I reckon.”

Blue Sox pitcher, Barrett Hendeson gave up eight hits in the loss with two strike-outs and one walk.

First baseman Ryan Cooper was the first to cross the plate for the Diamondbacks on a stand-up double by Brandon Clark for the 1-0 lead in the second inning.

Elkton left fielder Wes Hensley snagged a would-be hit by Staton with a dive, but the defensive effort was not enough as Seth Berry crossed the plate on a dink by Brooks Cullen to up the D’backs’ lead 2-0.

Clark started the sixth inning out with his second stand-up double of the night and went on to score on a fielder’s-choice by Mickey Holbert for the 3-0 lead. Clark led the Diamondbacks with three hits on the night.

“We haven’t gotten to play much lately, but we needed to straighten it out tonight,” Diamondbacks manager Tinker Kiser said. “We’re not seeing the ball quite as good as we should be even though we got a few good hits.”

Terrell Thompson put the final run on the board for the D’backs after a stand-up triple by Brooks Cullen for the 4-0 win.

The Diamondbacks travel to Bridgewater on Tuesday.

Cooper a 'one-man destruction unit' in Draft's win
By Jeanne Spath/For The News Virginian
Published: June 11, 2011

STUARTS DRAFT – Ryan Cooper sealed the win for the Diamondbacks at home Saturday on the mound and at the plate, posting two homeruns to down the Bridgewater Reds 9-5.
“He was a one-man destruction unit tonight,” Diamondback manager Tinker Kiser said.
Cooper gave up three runs in the top of the first on a hit and a pair of D’Back errors. Leadoff batter Kevin Bocock scored on a single by Bay Liskey. Runs were also scored by Travis Ashby and Scott Hearn to put the Reds up 3-0.
Jay Thompson got the Diamondbacks started with stand-up triple and scored on a double by Brooks Cullen. Cooper nailed the ball over the 330-foot fence to bring Cullen home and tie the score 3-3.
“[Bridgewater’s] Josh [Mitchell] is my best friend, we grew up in the same neighborhood and it just felt good. It always feels good to get a good pitch and just hammer it. I felt comfortable with him and could guess what he was going to throw,” Cooper said.
Donovan Huffer got on base with a single and crossed the plate on a hit by Corbin Lucas for the go-ahead run to end the first.
Huffer hit down the left-field line to start off the third, earning a stand-up double. He later scored on a Mitchell wild pitch.
In the fourth, Cooper struck again, hitting a three-run homer to score Thompson and Cullen and give Draft a five-run cushion. 
Thompson, who was a home run shy of the cycle, scored Draft’s final run on a Huffer sac fly in the fifth.
“I would have liked to have seen us score a few more,” Kiser said. “This is the best team I’ve ever coached here. I really like what we’ve got here. We have a lot of talented, well coached students of the game.”
Reds catcher Tyler Hoffman scored on a single by Trey Heatwole to edge the Reds up 9-4 in the sixth. An error in the eighth led to Bridgewater’s final run.
Cooper gave up four hits, one walk and three runs for the win.
The Diamondbacks travel to New Market today with a 6-1 record.

RCBL: Cooper's 2 HRs power Diamondbacks
10:51 PM, Jun. 11, 2011  | 
Written by
Staff Report

STUARTS DRAFT — Stuarts Draft’s Ryan Cooper belted a pair of home runs Saturday night, powering the Diamondbacks to a 9-5 win over the Bridgewater Reds in Rockingham County Baseball League play.
Cooper started his barrage with a two-run shot in the first inning and added a three-run blast in the fourth.
He also picked up the victory on the mound, pitching five innings. He allowed three runs, while striking out four.
Jay Thompson added four hits and three runs scored to the attack as the Diamondbacks had 15 hits in the game.

RCBL: Diamondbacks thump New Market
10:33 PM, Jun. 7, 2011  | 
Written by
Staff Report

NEW MARKET — Stuarts Draft’s T.J. Frazier and Drew Dobbins combined for a five-hitter Tuesday night as the Diamondbacks thumped the New Market Shockers 5-1 at Rebel Park in Rockingham County Baseball League play.
Frazier worked six innings for the victory, allowing one run on five hits while striking out four. Dobbins earned the save with three scoreless innings.
At the plate, Mickey Holbert had three hits and two RBIs, while Jay Thompson and Brandon Clark each had two hits and one RBI.
The Diamondbacks, who have won five straight after losing their season opener, host the Bridgewater Reds on Saturday.

RCBL: Diamondbacks dump Elkton
10:45 PM, Jun. 5, 2011  | 
Written by
Staff Report

STUARTS DRAFT — Stuarts Draft’s Jeremy Fitzgerald pitched seven strong innings, while Brandon Clark and Donovan Huffer belted solo home runs Sunday night as the Diamondbacks stopped the Elkton Blue Sox 8-5 in Rockingham County Baseball League play.
Fitzgerald allowed two runs on five hits, while striking out four.
Clark homered in the fourth and Huffer’s was an inside-the-park job in the fifth when the outfielder dove for the ball and missed it.
Jay Thompson added two hits and two RBIs.
The Diamondbacks (4-1) travel Tuesday to New Market.

RCBL: Draft looking for elusive title
By Robert Sisk
Published: May 26, 2011

STUARTS DRAFT — With the end of May quickly approaching, the sounds of wooden bats echoed in Stuarts Draft on Wednesday.

The start of the Rockingham County Baseball League season is set for Friday and the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks were busy preparing for what they hope will be their season to shine.

“Everybody knows that’s the goal,” said Draft manager Tinker Kiser. “If you put to much pressure on yourself, well, baseball is just a funny game. I try to have fun with it, of course the older you get the easier that gets.”

Since 2008, the Diamondbacks have been chasing an elusive RCBL title, falling in the past three championship series to the Clover Hill Bucks. The franchise has not won a championship series since moving to Draft.

Several players from the D’backs’ runner-up squads will not return for the 2011 season, but Kiser made several key pickups during the offseason to fill the holes.

“It’s going to take some time for everyone to find their niche, but we have a lot of talent and that’s what we were looking for,” Seth Berry said.

The biggest surprise to the Draft faithful will be seeing Brooks Cullen in red and black. Cullen, last year’s series MVP and Pitcher of the Year for Clover Hill, signed to play with the Diamondbacks this season, switching clubs after five years.

“It’s a lot closer to home and I played with a lot of these guys growing up,” Cullen said. “I’m looking forward to it and it should be a fun summer.”

Cullen also gives a jolt to the Diamondbacks’ offense. Last year he led the league with a .420 batting average.

On Friday, Cullen will have to face his former team in the season opener as the Diamondbacks travel to Clover Hill.

“I’m hoping [the Clover Hill fans] understand it was closer to home and just easier for me with my work schedule,” Cullen said. “It was tough driving an hour to your home games. I played up there for five years and we had some good teams, I won’t forget that but I had to do what was best for me.”

Terrell Thompson, who did not play last season, will also be in a Stuarts Draft uniform.

Kiser said that he thinks the Diamondbacks’ pitching will be their signature this season.

“We are going to have maybe one of the best starting rotations that has ever been in the county league,” Kiser said.

Jeremy Fitzgerald, who played for the Valley League’s Waynesboro Generals last year, has signed and is slated to get the opening night start in Clover Hill.

“We have a pretty good team,” Fitzgerald said. “Hopefully we can get over the hump with the Clover Hill Bucks.”

Fitzgerald was drafted last year in the 38th round by the Chicago Cubs, but decided to retain his amateur status and continue playing for Patrick Henry Community College. Fitzgerald struck out 85 batters this season at PHCC, leading the team. He finished the season with a 2.07 ERA.

Ryan Cooper will also return for Draft. Cooper has been the D’back’s ace, finishing the 2010 with a 1.70 ERA. Cooper led the league in ERA, strikeouts and wins last season.

Action from New Market Game
Action and Fans - Elkton Game June 5th
Action from Montezuma Game June 15
Click to view
Proposed New Seating at Diamond Club